New Acetal and Nylon Resins for Rotational Molding


LAMBERTVILLE, N.J.-Gehrig & Associates, a high performance polymer consultancy, has announced plans to commercialize their developments of two new grades of engineering resins for rotational molding applications. New grades of Acetal (POM) copolymer and Nylon 6 (PA6) have been developed to allow rotational molders to be more competitive in markets for fuel and chemical storage tanks, reservoirs, containers, and ducts. Both materials offer unique mechanical, thermal, and chemical resistance properties to accommodate a wide range of performance related applications.

Aartel® 1000 is a toughened, impact modified, copolymer acetal with extended mechanical properties, chemical resistance and a low moisture vapor transmission rate. Aartel 1000 is made exclusively from the finest acetal copolymers provided by Ticona Engineering Polymers. Aartel 1000 offers a high strength to weight ratio and excellent resistance to scratch and abrasions for bearing applications. Aartel 1000 exhibits high stability in various fuel scenarios including aggressive water and high concentrations of methanol and ethanol. The fuel permeation rate for standard unfilled grades was less than 0.07gm-mm/hr-m² over a temperature range of 45-80C. Test data on acetal copolymer with over 5000 hours of continuous exposure to a range of aggressive fuels is available upon request.

Aarlon® 1000 is an unfilled, heat stabilized, natural type 6 nylon developed for rotational molding applications. Aarlon 1000 is made exclusively from engineering nylons provided by BASF Performance Polymers. Aarlon 1000 offers high strength and stiffness with the natural lubricity and abrasion resistance of type 6 nylons. Aarlon 1000 is designed for elevated temperature applications where the heat stabilizers extend mechanical and physical properties. Aarlon 1000 exhibits excellent resistance to grease, oils, and other hydrocarbons. Aarlon 1000 is recommended for applications such as fuel tanks, chemical storage tanks, and hydraulic reservoirs.

Aartel 1000 and Aarlon 1000 are available in limited quantities in neat natural grades. New formulations of both materials with glass reinforcement and antimicrobial additives are expected in the second half of 2006. Both materials have undergone extensive forming trials and have exhibited consistent repeatable cycles that can be easily replicated on conventional rotational molding equipment. Processing guidelines and product data sheets are available upon request.

Current capacity from the development lab, Aardvark Polymers, is estimated to be around 50,000 pounds of each material per year. The expansion of the development labs into a pilot plant with approximately 2 million pound annual capacity is planned for the second half of 2006. The timing of the expansion will be determined by gauging the initial reception of these materials in the marketplace.

Other ongoing resin developments for the rotational molding market include several grades of engineering polyesters that may be processed with conventional equipment. Developments of high performance polymers for rotational molding include High Temperature Nylons (HTN), Polyphenylene Sulfide (PPS), and Liquid Crystal Polymers (LCP). More news is expected on these materials in the second half of 2006.
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