• Shorter cycle times, lower energy consumption;
• Wider processing window.
Specialty chemicals company LANXESS is one of the few suppliers that is continuously expanding its range of easy-flowing polyamide 6, 6.6 and PBT compounds (polybutylene terephthalate). “We are seeing a strong upturn in the level of market interest in the benefits that these materials open up compared to standard materials in terms of processing, production costs and design freedom. They are particularly suitable for manufacturing the kind of thin-walled components that are ideal for lightweight construction and the miniaturization of assemblies,” explains Tim Arping, a marketing expert at the LANXESS High Performance Materials (HPM) business unit.
Even more free-flowing new generation of Durethan BKV 30 XF
The latest example of one such product innovation is Durethan BKV 30 XF (XtremeFlow). The polyamide 6 with 30 percent glass fiber content is the successor of Durethan DP BKV 30 XF and is over 17 percent easier flowing (flow spiral, 8 x 2 millimeters, 280 °C melt temperature). Compared to Durethan BKV 30, another standard polyamide 6 with 30 percent glass fibers, its flowability is 62 percent higher. The new material features a good mechanical property profile that is almost identical to that of its predecessor and also produces outstanding surfaces. “We think it has huge potential for use in applications such as light but extremely strong mounts and brackets in cars,” says Stefan Theiler, who is an expert in the development of polyamide compounds at HPM.
Virtually any warpage new glass-bead-reinforced polyamide 6 grades
Also new are the three polyamide 6 compounds Durethan BG 30 X XF, BG 30 X H2.0 XF and BG 30 X H3.0 XF. They are reinforced with a 30 percent mix of glass fibers and glass microbeads and exhibit outstanding flowability and an exceptionally low susceptibility to warpage. Featuring a good mechanical property profile, their flowability is more than 30 percent higher than that of Durethan BG 30 X, a similar standard polyamide 6. “The compound with H3.0 thermostabilization has a very low copper and halide content and is customized for natural-colored and lightly colored applications in electrical engineering and electronics, such as plugs, plug connectors and fuse boxes. The H2.0 material version is aimed at components that are colored black and are subjected to higher heat loads,” says Theiler.
Easy-flowing polyesters with lower density
LANXESS offers a wide range of easy-flowing Pocan XF polyester compounds. These materials include non-reinforced and reinforced products with flow properties that are usually much better than those of similar standard grades and are often more resistant to hydrolysis. “Furthermore, they exhibit an up to five percent reduced density, which means processors can save on material,” explains Boris Neuwald, product developer for Pocan at LANXESS. One example of a non-reinforced PBT compound is Pocan B 1205 XF. Thanks to its outstanding flowability, this material is perfect for the trend toward miniaturization in the electrical engineering and electronics sectors. It is ideal for complex components with exceptionally thin wall thicknesses, such as mini plugs. When thin wall thicknesses of such components have to be combined with high mechanical stability, Pocan B 3217 XF is the material of choice. Neuwald: “This reinforced PBT with 16 percent glass fibers features a vastly improved fill behavior, particularly at low wall thicknesses. The glass fibers are therefore much more evenly distributed in narrow cavities than when using standard grades, which gives the component excellent mechanical stability.”
Lower filling pressure, lower melt temperature
The better a thermoplastic flows, the broader its processing window is. For example, processors can lower the melt temperature, which shortens cooling times and thus drives down cycle times, too. The end result is higher productivity. “For instance, Durethan BG 30 X XF helped to lower the melt temperature in the production of a fuse box by around 40 °C compared to when using Durethan BG 30 X. That cuts the cycle time by 34 percent,” explains Theiler. Alternatively, filling pressures can be lowered, thereby reducing mold wear and maintenance outlay and giving processors the opportunity to use smaller injection molding machines with lower locking forces, which saves costs and results in added flexibility. “In the case of a large fuse box, for instance, switching from Durethan BG 30 X to Durethan BG 30 X XF enabled the processor to lower the filling pressure for injection molding the part by some 500 bar. All four cavities of the mold could then be filled simultaneously, which doubled productivity,” says Theiler. What’s more, easy-flowing thermoplastics can also be used to achieve higher injection speeds and better surface qualities.
Detailed information on the properties, applications and processing technologies of Durethan and Pocan can be found at durethan.com and pocan.com in the HPM TechCenter.
LANXESS (lanxess.com) is a leading specialty chemicals company with sales of EUR 7.9 billion in 2015 and about 16,600 employees in 29 countries. The company is currently represented at 52 production sites worldwide. The core business of LANXESS is the development, manufacturing and marketing of chemical intermediates, specialty chemicals and plastics. Through ARLANXEO, the joint venture with Saudi Aramco, LANXESS is also a leading supplier of synthetic rubber. LANXESS is listed in the leading sustainability indices Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI World) and FTSE4Good.