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3D blowmolding makes advances through new PPS grade

Ticona Engineering Polymers (Sulzbach, Germany) has debuted a grade of polyphenylene sulfide (PPS) resin that claims to be the first material designed for use with 3D robotic manipulated blowmolding for tubular components with extreme complex geometries.

Ticona Engineering Polymers (Sulzbach, Germany) has debuted a grade of polyphenylene sulfide (PPS) resin that claims to be the first material designed for use with 3D robotic manipulated blowmolding for tubular components with extreme complex geometries.

pipe

Increasingly complex turbo ducting necessitates use of PPS and 3D blowmolding.

"Ticona polymer scientists used patent-pending technology to develop a new formulation of Fortron PPS. The advanced properties profile of this grade delivers a solution that allows OEMs and general industry customers to produce high temperature air management and exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) systems that include components with complex shapes and contours," says Peter Radden, Ticona automotive application development engineer. "The value to our customers is a material with high temperature resistance for harsh environments that can be shaped by one blow molding process into a duct with multiple 90-degree bends and intricate contours."

With the introduction of this developmental Fortron PPS grade, customers can now use all available blowmolding technologies—standard, 3D-suction, robot manipulation and injection—to create air inlet systems and EGR pipes with multiple bends while reducing the number of manufacturing steps and shortening cycle times.

"The internal combustion engine remains an important part of the powertrain, even as the push for lighter and more efficient traditional, hybrid and pure electric vehicles continues," Radden says. "While OEMs downsize their engines, they are pushing to increase the horsepower. This leads to higher operating temperatures and a more challenging environment with compact, more powerful engines in tighter engine compartments."

The new Fortron PPS grade, which passed all high temperature tests in a production scale trial, offers a set of material properties beyond those of standard blowmoldable Fortron PPS grades: higher melt strength; improved impact resistance; higher blow-up ratio; longer handling time; no restriction regarding vibration

Ticona is working with Röchling Automotive (Mannheim. Germany) on a new air-duct geometry that requires Fortron PPS. Fortron PPS provides cost savings via a combination of factors: lower reject rates, reduction in number of fabrication steps, shorter cycle times, and higher process reliability. In addition, blowmolded pipes can weigh up to 30% less than aluminum components.

"Our new higher performance turbo charging systems required a redesign of the air ducts including extreme complex part geometry which can only be shaped through the 3D robotic manipulated blowmolding process," says Paolo Curci, Röchling Automotive advanced projects developer. "The Ticona engineers worked with us to tailor the material properties to our design and process. The ability to fine tune the material composition reduced the need to run extensive production scale trials."

While initially used in an automotive application, Fortron PPS can be used in other industries that use extrusion, thermal forming and blowmolding technologies. —[email protected]

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