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Radici and Röchling Automotive team up to develop high heat-resistant polyamide

Radici and Röchling Automotive team up to develop high heat-resistant polyamide
New grade for turbo pipes presented during the 21st Plastic Materials Congress

RadiciGroup Performance Plastics introduced its latest innovation, a new blow-molding-grade polyamide (PA) capable of withstanding continuous exposure to hot air at temperatures of up to 230°C at the 21st Plastic Materials Congress, entitled “Chiedilo alla Plastica” [Turn to Plastics], held on 17 November in Varese, Italy. The material was developed for, and in collaboration with, engineering plastics processor Röchling Automotive. Such a high level of heat resistance opens up new opportunities in the metal replacement field, where parts are subjected to severe environmental conditions.

Collaborative efforts leads to development of semi-aromatic polyamide blow-molding grade for high heat turbo pipe application.

The new material belongs to RadiciGroup’s Radilon range of PA engineering thermoplastics, products that have a wide variety of uses in the automotive, electrical/electronics, industrial goods and consumer goods sectors. The Radilon range includes both traditional formulations as well as customized variants as is the case with the Röchling Automotive partnership project. This grade was specifically designed for metal replacement applications where there is a requirement excellent resistance towards chemical agents in addition to continuous operation at high temperatures

The new product is a copolymer with a semi-aromatic component, which, in combination with other additives used to retard the thermal oxidation process, endows the material with very high heat resistance properties. Furthermore, the formulation ensures high melt strength and good blow-moldability.

Trials and validation tests performed in the Röchling Automotive laboratories have allowed for quantifying some of the advantages of the new product, including a weight reduction of 15%, reduced energy consumption in production (a 5-7% lower processing and tool temperature), less expensive molds (molds last longer thanks to the lower abrasion of PA compared to PPS), and enhanced impact resistance compared to PPS (Charpy un-notched impact strength at 23°C: +72%; Charpy notched impact strength at 23°C: +52%).

For the automotive industry – where there is a very clear trend towards smaller but more powerful engines, lower CO2 emissions, longer useful vehicle life and less under-the-bonnet space –new PA grades must be designed to provide good heat resistance at high temperatures, good processability and moreover competitive pricing.

The know-how acquired by RadiciGroup Performance Plastics in the field of polyamide engineering plastics and its synergistic collaboration with the RadiciGroup Chemicals Business Area, enables the compounder to take on these challenges and offer concrete solutions to the market demand for innovation, customization, flexibility and performance.

Commenting on the collaboration with Röchling Automotive to develop turbo air pipes to be used by a major car manufacturer, Erico Spini, Marketing and Application Development Director Europe of RadiciGroup Plastics, stressed that “collaboration and continual interaction with our customers give rise to customized products that are unique and able to ensure the best performance and best characteristics for any specific application need.”

Marco Barbolini, intake systems project manager of Röchling Automotive, expressed his satisfaction with the RadiciGroup Performance Plastics partnership: “We are very satisfied, because we found RadiciGroup to be an excellent partner in the development of a new material which fills a gap in the market offering and combines high performance characteristics with high heat resistance, while maintaining the good processability that is typical of polyamides.”

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