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AMODEL Polyphthalamide gives racer

Solvay Advanced Polymers Llc : 31 March, 2004  (New Product)
Aluminum replacement withstands rigors of oval-track competition Alpharetta, Ga. Willy
In these oval-track racers, the nearly constant left turns would push fuel to the right side of a carburetor’s float bowl, reducing flow to the jets that feed the cylinders on the left side of the engine. Krup innovated a fuel pickup tube that returns this errant fuel to the fuel metering block, assuring constant flow, and consistent power, through even the fastest turns.

Composite replacement for aluminum design
His original aluminum parts did the job, but the amount of machining required made them more expensive than Krup wanted. So he turned to Holzmeyer Die and Mold in Princeton, Indiana for an affordable composite solution. Alan Holzmeyer cut a mold to duplicate Krup’s design, and produced the first molded parts in nylon. But testing proved this material could not stand up to the heat-and-cool cycles induced by the race-and-sit format of these competition classes, or to the corrosive alcohol that
fueled the cars.

Immersion in cold alcohol while running brought the temperature of the pickup as low as 40°F, while the parts would see heat in excess of 125°F as the carburetors absorbed engine heat between events. The high temperature was causing the nylon pickups to shrink as much as three-thousandths of an inch, loosening them from their press-fit locations, and causing leaks. Constant exposure to fuel would also soften the tubes, compromising the threaded retention bolt that ultimately held the part in place.

Heat and chemical resistance
Familiar with the temperature and chemical resistance of AMODEL polyphthalamides from Solvay Advanced Polymers, Holzmeyer switched the application to AMODEL AS-1133 HS. This grade is a heat-stabilized, glass-reinforced PPA that combines a high heat-deflection temperature, with a high
flexural modulus and high tensile strength.

This resin also exhibits excellent creep resistance and low moisture absorption, and it can be processed using conventional equipment and methods. Carolyn Catt, material manager at Holzmeyer Die and Mold, explains that “the AMODEL material is easier to mold than the reinforced nylon.”

Krup’s experience with the new parts confirms that the pickup tubes retain their dimensional stability through the severe heat cycle present in racing, so they continue to seal and to deliver fuel despite the constant vibration produced by hard racing.

About Solvay Advanced Polymers Solvay Advanced Polymers, L.L.C. is a subsidiary of Solvay America, Inc., the U.S. holding company of Solvay S.A. The company produces high-performance polymers that are used in a wide range of demanding applications in the automotive, aerospace, industrial, foodservice, medical, and electronics industries worldwide.
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