• High mechanical strength;
• Good surface quality;
• Custom material for complex requirements.
Thermoplastics with good melt flow characteristics facilitate the design of large, thin-walled components of complex geometry. One example is a roller support for a food processor from a premium household appliance manufacturer. The part is made of Pocan C 3230 XF (XtremeFlow), a blend of polybutyleneterephthalate and polycarbonate (PBT+PC) from LANXESS that is reinforced with 30 percent glass fibers. “With our material, this precision component, which is subjected to high mechanical loads, can be of thin design, but still displays low warpage and dimensional stability at the same time,” explains Hans-Joachim Klöpper, Key Account Manager in LANXESS's High Performance Materials (HPM) business unit. The specialty chemicals company has been supplying the household appliances manufacturer with custom materials for many years, and provided support during development of the roller support, such as mechanical or process simulations.
40 percent better flow than standard material
The food processor combines numerous functions. It can, for example, grind, chop, mix, whisk, stir and knead. The roller support therefore is a complex component with a number of recesses, connection points and guides, as well as reinforcing ribs in several areas. “Thanks to the good flow properties of our blend, this complex component can be injection-molded with wall thicknesses of just 1.2 to 3 millimeters,” says Klöpper. The material displays roughly 40 percent better flow than a comparable standard PBT/PC blend likewise reinforced with 30 percent glass fibers. The mechanical properties are at a similarly high level. For example, the tensile modulus is 7,500 MPa and the tensile strength nearly 100 MPa. The material’s high stiffness and even higher impact strength compared to the standard material ensure that the roller support can easily withstand the mechanical demands imposed on it. “What helps is that the compound's glass fibers are very uniformly distributed even in areas of the component with a very low wall thickness,” explains Klöpper. The density of the blend is about 2.5 percent lower than that of comparable, standard PBT grades, which results in reduced material consumption. Another advantage of the compound is the good surface quality of the parts made from it.
Mold filling simulation and warpage calculation for customers
LANXESS supported the manufacturer of the food processor during development of the roller support with a variety of services, all part of HiAnt. This brand incorporates HPM's extensive material, simulation and processing competence, which it offers to customers through all stages of component development. “In the case of the roller support, for example, we simulated the mold filling process. Our goal was to determine the right gating concept for avoiding weld lines and air traps, and minimizing warpage,” says Klöpper. The experts from LANXESS also helped to select the material and simulate the mechanical behavior of the part.
LANXESS (lanxess.com) is a leading specialty chemicals company with sales of EUR 7.9 billion in 2015 and about 16,600 employees in 29 countries. The company is currently represented at 52 production sites worldwide. The core business of LANXESS is the development, manufacturing and marketing of chemical intermediates, specialty chemicals and plastics. Through ARLANXEO, the joint venture with Saudi Aramco, LANXESS is also a leading supplier of synthetic rubber. LANXESS is listed in the leading sustainability indices Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI World) and FTSE4Good.