K 2010 ROUND-UP: MATERIALS
Canadian PlasticsResearch & Development Plastics: Design
New pre-colored resins for rotomolding
New pre-colored resins for rotomolding
LyondellBasell is extending its range of high-performance Lupolen linear high density polyethylene (HDPE) resins to address the diversified requirements of customer rotomolding applications, especially in the production of tanks and large containers. Lupolen 3621 M RM Black and Lupolen 4021 K RM Black HDPE compounds are the latest additions to the company’s recently launched portfolio of resins used in rotomolding.
The new pre-colored resins are designed to provide customers with excellent cold temperature impact performance and environmental stress cracking resistance. Typical customer applications include industrial fuel tanks, technical parts, and underground waste and sewage systems.
With a combination of good impact/stiffness balance and low temperature impact performance down to -30°C, applications produced with these resins can withstand harsh transport conditions in cold weather. The grades outperform standard polyethylene resins in terms of environmental stress cracking resistance. Full Notch Creep Test (FNCT) results show that the new Lupolen grades perform better than competitive resins.
LyondellBassell (Houston, Tex.); www.lyondellbasell.com; 888-777-0232
Renewably-sourced TPE for airbag systems
A joint development work between Takata-Petri and DuPont has resulted in the launch of a new grade of DuPont Hytrel RS, said to be the industry’s first renewably-sourced thermoplastic elastomer for use in airbag systems.
Replicating the technical properties of the standard grade of Hytrel used for such applications, including consistent physical properties over a wide range of temperatures, the material contains a minimum of 35% renewable content by weight derived from non-food biomass, thereby addressing auto manufacturers’ needs for sustainable solutions.
The newly-developed grade of Hytrel RS for airbag systems constitutes one of the latest technological advances in the area of renewably-sourced, high performance polymers. It is based on a thermoplastic ether-ester elastomer (TPC-ET) with hard segments of polybutylene terephthalate and soft segments that contain a polyether derived from non-food biomass. In its finished, compounded form, as used in airbag systems, its renewably-sourced content is at least 35% by weight.
E.I. DuPont Company (Mississauga, Ont.); www.plastics.dupont.com; 905-821-5193
UV stabilizer for auto applications
Migration is a significant concern for manufacturers of components such as dashboards, centre consoles, and door cladding. Migration of a light stabilizer out of the PP part can cause undesired surface deposits or create a fogging effect on vehicle windscreens. Automotive manufacturers conduct rigorous testing at high temperatures to check for fogging potential.
Hostavin N845PP from Clariant International protects PO-based components against sunlight and artificial light degradation. Unlike other anti-UV active agents, it remains within the plastic and does not migrate to the surface of the component when exposed to heat. As a result, Hostavin N845PP has a significantly reduced fogging and migration potential compared to other UV stabilizers.
This pioneering advantage is achieved through the grade’s compatibility with the PO matrix. Hostavin N845PP is a two-in-one active ingredient, which means that the UV stabilizer is enclosed in a non-traditional carrier. The carrier ensures good processability of the PO compound, contributing to the knock-on performance benefits.
The two-in-one ingredient also creates a more efficient and safer processing environment. Supplied in granule rather than powder form, Hostavin N845PP is free-flowing and dust free.
Clariant Masterbatches Division (Toronto); www.clariant.masterbatches.com; 800-265-3773
Cost-efficient, sustainable PE foam for packaging applications
New from SABIC Innovative Plastics, LDPE Ultra Melt Strength (UMS) incorporates high-performing Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE) materials that provide a high insulating capacity for building applications and good shock-absorbing capability for packaging applications.
This product line is also designed to be cost-efficient, offering converters the opportunity to reduce foam density from between 5% and 10%, while improving thermal performance and maintaining excellent mechanical properties.
In addition, the UMS materials are said to be less temperature-sensitive, allowing a wider operating window for machine temperatures. This combination of properties delivers considerable material and energy savings, supporting converters in their efforts to improve their cost and sustainability performance.
The first two grades in the UMS line are: LDPE 2202 UMS, which is designed for foam sheet applications, and which is capable of significantly minimizing the unwanted waves associated with corrugation, resulting in smooth end-products with good insulating properties that are easier to install and offer improved thermal insulation; and LDPE 1905 UMS, designed to improve the sealing and mechanical behavior of the end-product, making it ideal for foam sealing applications.
SABIC Innovative Plastics (Toronto); www.sabic-ip.com; 800-323-3783
Renewably-sourced engineering resin
Following the introduction of EcoPaXX, a bio-based, high performance engineering plastic, DSM Engineering Plastics launched Arnitel Eco, a high performance thermoplastic copolyester (TPC) with a 20%-50% content derived from renewable resources, depending on the hardness of the grade.
The new material, which DSM said is already being sampled to selected customers, is specifically suited for applications in consumer electronics, sports & leisure and automotive interior.
Arnitel Eco is a first generation product, which is currently not yet suitable for high temperatures. However, future generations of the product are in the works. With growing demand for bio-based engineering plastics which combine performance with a reduced carbon footprint. LCA calculations of Arnitel Eco show a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, cradle to gate, of up to 50% versus oil based thermoplastic copolyesters.
DSM Engineering Plastics Inc. (Evansville, Ind.); www.dsm.com; 812-435-7500
Polyamide 66 for vehicle engine pipes
Lanxess showcased its new Durethan TP 424-009 polyamide 66 material, designed specifically
for physical and chemical foaming.
Durethan TP 424-009 is for manufacturing pipes used in vehicle engine compartments. This hydrolysis-stabilised polyamide 66 includes 30% special glass fibre reinforcement and an additive component specifically geared to the demands of the gas and water injection technology (GIT/WIT) process. It’s well suited for hollow parts that have large pipe cross-sections and complex geometries with branches, flattened cross-sections and large angles.
Lanxess Inc. (Sarnia, Ont.); www.lanxess.com; 800-526-9377
Tough materials for connectors, junction boxes
BASF’s Ultramid A3X2G7 grade (PA) is said to be well suited for the field of photovoltaic connectors.
The material is very stiff, so that the connectors can be made very slim and yet meet the stringent requirements. For example, Ultramid A3X2G7 meets the UL flammability standard V0 starting at a wall thickness of 0.8 mm, and standard 5VA starting at a wall thickness of 1.5 mm.
The company also showcased its Ultramid A3XZG5, designed for use in junction boxes. This highly impact-resistant modified Ultramid grade provides an ultimate elongation at break that is twice as high as that of the materials used so far, even after 4,000 hours of conditioning at 85°C [185°F] and 85% humidity. Moreover, junction boxes made of this material have no problem complying with the demanding cold-impact test according to UL 1703. In order for a component to pass this test, it has to withstand the impact of a 500-gram ball falling from a height of 1.3 meters without displaying any cracks or damage at a temperature of minus 35°C [¿31°F]. Ultramid A3XZG5 meets the required UL flammability standard 5VA starting at 2.3 mm.
BASF Canada (Mississauga, Ont.); www.basf.ca; 866-485-2273