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News

Wear-resistant grade of AMODEL Polyphthalamide selected for first thrust washer application

Solvay Advanced Polymers Llc : 17 September, 2006  (Company News)
AMODEL AT-6130 HS polyphthalamide resin is one of a new family of PPA materials developed by Solvay Advanced Polymers, L.L.C. This glass-fiber reinforced grade was originally designed to be used for snap-fit electronic connectors in the automotive industry. To that end, this grade exhibits greater elongation than other AMODEL products that are 30% glass-fiber reinforced.
Now this toughened material has the distinction of being the first AMODEL product to be specified in a thrust-washer application. The grade was selected by engineers at GM Powertrain for use in one of their latest automatic transmissions. In an automobile’s transmission, thrust washers act as spacers between metal components such as clutch housings and sprockets.

High temperature, high pressure environment
Transmission duty demands that the washers survive conditions that include high temperatures as well as constant immersion in automatic transmission fluid. The specified operating temperature range is between −40°C and 150°C, which is typical for automotive industry applications.

The most important requirement, though, is that the washers be able to resist the wear caused by the high pressures and high relative velocities between rotating parts. This combination of forces is called the “pressure-velocity load.” In a typical transmission, the PV forces can reach 1 million psi-ft/min, resulting from rotational speeds of up to 6,000 rpm.

Brian Baleno, automotive market development representative for Solvay Advanced Polymers, points out that “before the wear-resistant 6000 series was introduced, there may not have been an AMODEL resin suitable for use in thrust washers.”

Cost-effective performance
With a heat-deflection temperature of 276°C, measured at 264 psi, this AMODEL grade can withstand greater heat than nylon 6, or nylon 4/6, or 6/6. This performance, combined with material cost and processing ease, makes AMODEL AT-6130 HS a cost-effective replacement for some very expensive materials that have traditionally been specified to meet the demands of high PV applications.

In addition, resins in the AMODEL 6000 series offer good flow characteristics, leading to short molding cycles, and they can be processed readily using conventional molding equipment and methods. These first-ever AMODEL thrust washers are molded by South Bend Plastics at its facility in Indiana, using a standard thermolator-assisted process.
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