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Halogen-Free, Flame-Retardant Polyamide Printable with Laser Precision

Image: Asahi Kasei graphic
The new grade from Asahi Kasei combines safety, surface quality, and laser printability. It will be showcased at Fakuma.

Japan’s Asahi Kasei is introducing the halogen- and red phosphorus-free flame retardant polyamide 66 Leona SN to the European market. This semi-aromatic material combines high levels of safety, surface quality, and laser printability.

Tightening safety and environmental regulations in the European Union are increasing the demands placed on materials used for electrical appliances and systems. Halogen- and red phosphorous-free solutions ensure safety in a range of applications while at the same time taking a more sustainable approach compared with conventional materials. The Leona SN grades are certified with the V-0 flame retardancy at wall thicknesses of 0.75 mm according to the UL standard, and achieve 600 V, the highest value on the comparative tracking index (CTI).

Asahi KaseiEV charging station

Leona SN polyamide 66 is suitable for applications in powertrain parts and EV charging stations.

In addition to the flame-retardant and creep-resistant properties, the material features a superior surface quality. This is achieved without additional treatment and coating and even with up to 50% glass-fiber content. Another characteristic of this material is its high retention rate of physical properties in a conditioned state. While comparable halogen-free PA 66 materials show a significant decline in properties, Leona SN maintains a high level of tensile strength and flexural modulus, also after moisture absorption. This opens new possibilities for applications in environments where the use of standard FR PA66 can become an issue.

Furthermore, Leona SN delivers excellent laser printability and allows for clearer surface marking than general materials with red phosphorus in high-speed machining at 1000 mm/sec, contributing to an increased production rate. Application areas of Leona SN include automotive powertrain items, as well as E&E parts that require flame retardancy, such as connectors, magnet switches, or relay blocks. The material also fulfills requirements for the highest Hazard Level 3 in the categories R22 for interior parts and R23 for exterior parts of the European railway fire safety standard EN 45545.

“Leona SN fulfils the strictest requirements regarding safety, surface quality, and laser printability while at the same time being fully in line with environmental regulations. The high level of key properties will make this material a problem solver for our customers and open up new possibilities in a broad range of applications,” said Taku Ishida, General Manager, Engineering Plastics Division, Asahi Kasei Europe.

The Leona SN series is part of Asahi Kasei’s new Leona polyamide resin family. This series also includes UV-resistant grades (SU series) and semi-aromatic grades (SG series) for metal replacement and applications in automotive interiors. They all feature a combination of surface quality, processability, and mechanical performance.

Asahi Kasei has a broad portfolio in the field of halogen-free and flame-retardant polymers, including Xyron modified polyphenylene ether (mPPE) and Leona PA 66. The company also has developed SunForce mPPE-based particle beads foam, the first foam of its kind certified with UL94 V-0 flame retardance. These materials are suitable for applications in automotive, electrical engineering, and electronics.

Asahi Kasei Europe will present its engineering plastics portfolio at Fakuma on Oct. 12 to 16, 2021, in Friedrichshafen, Germany. The company will exhibit at booth 5319 in hall B5.

For a preview of other exhibitors at the plastics processing trade show, check out “Guess Who’s Coming to Fakuma.”

TAGS: Materials
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