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Rigid Plastics

New Resin Formulations Join ‘Strongest Moldable Polymers’ Line for Metal Replacement

Image: Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials electric vehicle bracket
Electric car bracket molded from KyronMAX thermoplastic.
Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials has expanded its line of KyronMAX structural thermoplastic materials that incorporate the company’s short-carbon-fiber technology.

Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials (MCAM) has expanded its KyronMAX structural thermoplastic materials line with new resin formulations for the medical, oil and gas, aerospace, automotive, and recreation market segments. KyronMAX compounds incorporate MCAM’s short-carbon-fiber technology, producing the strongest moldable polymers available for metal replacement applications, according to the company.

“While we began with a line of high-temperature engineering thermoplastic, we have migrated to include general-purpose polymers, including polypropylene, nylon, and polycarbonate,” said Dave Wilkinson, MCAM Technology Director. “We are agnostic in terms of the material we use. If the customer requires nylon 6/6, we can give them one that’s stronger than any other material. We’re not trying to force one or two solutions on our customers. We want to produce what our customers require, so we now offer a broad product portfolio,” said Wilkinson.

Described as the strongest compounds for injection molding in the world, KyronMAX can be used to replace steel in structural components. MCAM broke an industry barrier when it offered materials with 60,000 psi (414 MPa) tensile strength.

“We keep moving the technology bar higher to give our customers a lot of options when they want to replace metals with polymers,” explained Wilkinson. “Additionally our materials are designed to be user-friendly and easily injection moldable.

Metal replacement, particularly in automotive components, has become a part of OEMs’ lightweighting and sustainability programs, noted Wilkinson. “We’ve done studies on the savings of using KyronMAX compounds to replace metal. When you start taking weight out of the material, you get a massive CO2 reduction because you don’t need as much fuel to power the vehicle.”

Additionally, KyronMAX technology enables very complex parts to be injection molded while retaining the strength and mechanical performance of metal.

MCAM’s North American Research & Development Technology Center combined what were formerly four facilities into a single, newly built 100,000-square-foot plant. Within that space, the company develops cutting edge materials in a vertically integrated operation. “We take in raw carbon fiber on a spool and do everything under one roof, including chipping, compounding, molding, and machining,” says Wilkinson. “We sell anywhere along the supply chain, whether our customers need the raw materials shipped to their molder or require molded parts from their molds, which they ship to us.”

MCAM’s technology center has 12 injection molding machines ranging in size from 20 to 700 tons. The company maintains technical centers around the world, allowing it to transfer customers’ molds to other MCAM facilities globally, as needed.

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