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Nylon automotive engine covers offer part price reduction

DSM Engineering Plastics (Sittard) : 05 August, 2004  (New Product)
New Akulon Ultraflow PA6 grades for automotive engine covers offer part price reduction over conventional PA grades
DSM Engineering Plastics announces new Akulon Ultraflow polyamide 6 (PA6) glass- and mineral-reinforced, heat-stabilised grades, particularly applicable for automotive engine covers that emphasize aesthetics or acoustics.

Less of the Akulon Ultraflow grades, K220-HGM44 and K-FHGM24, is often needed because its use can allow the design of parts with thinner walls and longer flow paths than typically possible with conventional PA grades.

Use of the new materials can also lower the part price for engine covers by increasing production speed by up to 40% and by reducing or eliminating post-mould decorating and painting.

Further savings may also be realised because the high-flow Akulon Ultraflow grades can often use existing tooling designed for polypropylenes and other materials.

“The new Akulon Ultraflow grades provide automakers with economical, high-performance options for engines that must delight the eye or ear,” said Bert Havenith, DSM’s general product manager for Akulon (PA6, PA66). “Automakers can count on Akulon Ultraflow’s durability and strength that are moulded into aesthetic and acoustic engine covers, translating into long-term benefits for car owners.”

Compared with polypropylene, the new Akulon Ultraflow grades offer higher peak temperature resistance and greater toughness. Compared with conventional PAs, they deliver superior surface appearance, better processability, higher long-term temperature resistance (versus PA66) and overall a much better price/performance ratio. Akulon Ultraflow K220-HGM44 (20% glass-filled, 20% mineral-filled) works well for acoustic covers. Akulon Ultraflow K-FHGM24 (10% glass-filled, 20% mineral-filled) is ideal for aesthetic covers.

Other applications for the new grades include a broad range of parts that must combine strength, aesthetics, and ease of production. For automotive, these include air inlet manifolds, air bag containers, pedals, body front end modules, fan and shroud assemblies, and engine covers. In consumer durables, Akulon Ultraflow is used in power tool housings, covers and furniture.

The superb melt flow of Akulon Ultraflow is the result of DSM's proprietary method of melt flow improvement. Even with ultra-thin walls, Akulon Ultraflow provides resistance to warping and abrasion. Should painting be required, the high-gloss surface finish and high heat resistance of parts made with Ultraflow allow them to blend in well with surrounding components. The material’s excellent flow during moulding also permits more cavities in tooling and fewer injection points.

Akulon Ultraflow is a family of grades within DSM’s Akulon PA6, PA66 formulations. DSM Akulon Ultraflow PA6 formulations are available in neat; high stiffness (30-40% glass reinforcement); and higher stiffness (>50% glass), as well as glass/mineral formulations. The highly reinforced Akulon Ultraflow grades provide a good alternative in applications where metals are currently used.

Polyamides cover a broader range of applications than any other engineering plastic. The Akulon grades are suitable for all major processing, including injection moulding, blow moulding and extrusion. Akulon and Akulon Ultraflow PA grades have an excellent combination of properties, including high stiffness and strength at elevated temperatures, toughness at low temperatures, excellent heat ageing resistance, good abrasion and wear resistance, chemical resistance, and excellent surface appearance.
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