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News

Fibreglass-reinforced polyamide resin takes the chair

DSM Engineering Plastics (Sittard) : 28 July, 2004  (Application Story)
The Herman Miller Equa chair benefits from the strength and aesthetic advantages of DSM
Herman Miller, a leading global provider of office furniture and services in the office furniture industry, has selected Akulon Ultraflow fibreglass-reinforced polyamide resin from, DSM Engineering Plastics for the structural shell on their line of Equa Chairs. Engineers at Herman Miller chose the high-flow polyamide 6 (PA6) for the materialís excellent long-term fatigue performance and superior surface finish. In the Equa chair, Akulon Ultraflow also wards off scuffs and scrapes, helping to maintain the chairís aesthetics.

'Herman Miller is constantly looking for ways to improve the performance and beauty of its designs and the Ultraflow material did just that for Equa. The thermoplastic resin is injection moulded into the Equa Chairís one-piece seat and back to produce a strong, flexible, cost-effective, and visually pleasing shell,Ē says Bert Havenith General Product Manager Akulon Europe of DSM.

The improved flow properties of Akulon Ultraflow, important for the long flowing lines of the Equa chair, derive from proprietary technology developed by DSM Research and Development and introduced in 2001. These flow properties give exceptionally beautiful surfaces previously unavailable in a high glass-content polyamide 6.

The superb melt flow of Akulon Ultraflow is the result of DSM Engineering Plasticsí proprietary method of melt flow improvement. The improved flow level of Akulon Ultraflow in comparison to that of standard PA6 grades translates to important benefits like cycle time reduction, freedom of design and opportunities for wall thickness reductions, improved surface appearance, potentially more cavities per tool, the need for smaller injection moulding units, and lower moulded-in stress and warpage combined with excellent retention of mechanical performance.

Akulon Ultraflow replaced polyethylene terephthalate (PET) resin in the original design and has reduced costs while improving the durability of the product.

'We were able to significantly increase the fatigue performance of the chair shell, which will increase the expected life of the chair and reduce warranty costs,' said Andy Hector Product Engineer at Herman Miller.

The Equa line provides high-performance, adjustable, long-term seating with a one-piece flexible shell in three sizes, for computer work, general office work, and formal or informal meetings. The ergonomically-designed seat and back of the Equa 2 shell flex separately so the chair automatically responds to the user's movements.
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