Metal substitution and recyclate grades in focus

Metal substitution and recyclate grades in focus
New process and material developments for metal replacement and new materials with a high recycled content are the focal point of Lanxess’s presentation at Fakuma in Friedrichshafen.

- These innovations in Pocan polyesters and Durethan polyamides help processors cut costs and component weight, boost productivity and create sustainable products - explains Lars Kraus, head of the Technical Marketing Service in the Lanxess Semi-Crystalline Products business unit. The manufacturer is appearing at the Friedrichshafen fair for the second time. - As one of the world’s leading trade fairs for plastics processing, FAKUMA with its industry experts is the ideal forum for us to present our developments to our customer’s specialists and the industry as a whole - adds Kraus.

Components that have been produced using sustainable and resource-friendly methods are in demand, particularly in the automotive industry. Lanxess has therefore now extended its new “ECO” product range, whose products contain a defined proportion of recycled material, to six grades. For example, Pocan ECO BF 4930 is a new polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) reinforced with 30 percent glass fibers. Ninety percent of this product is made up of pre-consumer recycled material. The material is intended for components with uncomplicated geometries such as simple housings with wall thicknesses of over 1.5 millimeters.

It joins Pocan ECO T 3240 and Pocan ECO T 3230, which are produced from PBT and recycled post-consumer PET. These two materials have properties similar to comparable virgin material and are tailor-made for the production of premium molded parts such as those for “white goods”. Another new material is Durethan PAGF30, which contains varying proportions of polyamide 6 and 66 and is reinforced with 30 percent glass fibers. It is intended primarily for applications where variations in material properties from batch to batch are acceptable. “Initial samples of our ECO grades have gone down very well with customers, which has encouraged us to expand this product range - says Kraus.

One of the highlights of the products exhibited by Lanxess comprises components where metal has been replaced with highly reinforced and therefore very stiff thermoplastics.

- Thanks to our EasyFlow and XtremeFlow technology, we can give these types of materials good flow properties despite high quantities of fillers, thus ensuring that even large components with complex geometries can be manufactured cost-effectively with thin walls - adds Kraus. For example, a large, approximately one-meter-long ink tray for a printing press will be on show that, instead of sheet steel, now consists of polyamide 6 Durethan DP BKV 60 H2.0 filled with 60 percent glass fibers. The high glass fiber content enables the component to be produced with virtually no warpage and is therefore – as required – very flat.

One example of the highly reinforced polyamide 66 grades on display is a cooling water distributor for various Ford Sigma engines that are fitted in vehicles such as the Ford Fiesta. The component is made of Durethan DP AKV 50 HR H2.0. This material, which is reinforced with 50 percent glass fibers and has an elasticity modulus of 10,600 MPa, is around a third stiffer than a comparable standard polyamide 66 with 30 percent glass fibers. This makes it possible to mount the ignition coil on the cooling water distributor by means of an integrated bracket. The material’s high stiffness, strength, and toughness ensure the cooling water distributor barely deforms under leverage forces when the vehicle is moving. This is an essential requirement for preventing leakages at the flanges and outlet nozzles.

Ford Fiesta

Lanxess is a leading specialty chemicals company with sales of EUR 6.58 billion in 2008 and currently 14,335 employees in 23 countries. The company is represented at 46 production sites worldwide. The core business of Lanxess is the development, manufacturing and marketing of plastics, rubber, intermediates and specialty chemicals.