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High performance plastics for convoluted tubing

DSM Engineering Plastics (Sittard) : 20 October, 2004  (New Product)
DSM Engineering Plastics offers three highly engineered materials for convoluted tubing, whose bellows-like form allows it to bend and flex readily.
Convoluted tubing, whose bellows-like form allows it to bend and flex readily, is increasingly found in automobiles, rail equipment, and robotics and machinery where it is used to organise and protect wiring and control components.

DSM Engineering Plastics offers three relevant and highly engineered materials, Akulon, Arnitel and Stanyl that deliver a range of high-performance properties such as processing ease, superior toughness, heat resistance, and continuous use temperature range. Halogen-free and flame-retardant (FR) grades are available in all three product families. Grades are generally available in black and natural, which can be coloured via masterbatch.

Of special interest to fabricators of convoluted tubing may be the new use of Akulon XP modified nylon 6 from DSM for tubing applications that need to exhibit higher performance levels as required in the automotive industry. Recent customer trials indicate that Akulon XP’s superior rheological properties deliver low viscosity for very good flow, as well as a range of shear levels for better processing of all sizes of tubing. The material also processes at lower pressures and helps reduce or eliminate “snaking” in the extruder core. As a result, convoluted tubing made from Akulon XP keeps its shape better, while providing processing cost benefits.

Akulon grades of polyamide 6 and 6,6 (PA6 and PA66) provide the toughness, resistance to chemicals and ageing, good electrical properties, and abrasion resistance required by many tubing applications. Akulon XP grades can provide both superior flow and a range of shear for faster and easier processing.

In addition to good chemical resistance, Stanyl grades of PA 4,6 (PA46) offer a very high melting point, as well as high heat resistance - to 170C continuous use (CUT) and beyond—and extraordinary wear and fatigue resistance, important in rail and robotics applications.

Most compliant and flexible is convoluted tubing made of Arnitel thermoplastic elastomers (TPE). Arnitel U grades provide high continuous use temperature (CUT) - UL listed CUT is 160C - important for electrical and automotive applications. Arnitel E and P grades provide extra fatigue resistance, good chemical and abrasion resistance, which are all important for robotics and machine applications. Finally, there is a flame-retardant grade that is halogen-free, as well as a hydrolysis-stabilising masterbatch for Arnitel U. A particular advantage of Arnitel materials is their broad range of temperature, remaining flexible at -40C yet still showing good integrity to 180C and beyond.

DSM Engineering Plastics Akulon, Arnitel and Stanyl provide measurable processing advantages compared to conventional materials. Mould-flow behaviour, reduced cycle times and the capability for production in conventional machines and moulds all combine in many cases to lower overall per-part cost compared to less effective conventional materials.

“We can provide solutions suited to almost any need, whether that be for long life, chemical or oil resistance, heat resistance or more,” said Francis Aussems, Application Development Technical Manager for DSM.

Stanyl is DSM’s high performance PA, used in demanding applications in automotive, electrical and other areas that require outstanding mechanical and chemical properties. Arnitel copolyester TPEs combine the strength and processing advantages of engineering thermoplastics with the performance of thermoset elastomers. As thermoplastics, Arnitel grades do not require vulcanisation.
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