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Simulation Shows Recycled Polyamides Can Sustain Future Mobility

Extensive simulation-ready material performance datasets boost confidence in sustainable grades.

November 26, 2021

3 Min Read
polymer simulations
Image: Domo Chemicals

Domo Chemicals has introduced new material cards to fast-track the adoption of its line of eco-friendly polyamides (PAs), Techyl 4Earth. This new feature in Domo’s advanced predictive simulation platform, MMI Techyl Design will help manufacturers to develop lighter, more cost-effective parts using peak-performing recycled polyamides.

With many industries eager to reduce their environmental footprint, demand for recycled plastics is growing exponentially. Until recently, however, the often-inconsistent performance of recycled plastics hindered their adoption in the most rigorous applications. Techyl 4Earth has opened the door to a suite of new applications, providing breakthrough performance comparable to traditional PA 66. With Techyl 4Earth, Domo’s goal is to accelerate the use of sustainable plastics and broaden the scope of target applications by providing top-performing grades to meet the most demanding technical requirements.

If automakers are to adopt eco-friendly metal-replacement PAs, however, engineers need to have confidence in their material performance. With Domo’s MMI (Multi-scale modeling, Mechanical simulation, and Injection molding) Techyl Design tools, manufacturers can understand how these new materials will behave in real-life situations before putting new parts into production.

MMI Techyl Design is an advanced predictive platform that harnesses Domo’s extensive database of key material property measurements to help engineering teams develop lighter, more cost-effective parts using its Techyl polyamide materials. This solution is powered by Digimat, a material modeling software developed and supported by Integrated Computational Materials Engineering (ICME) experts from Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division. It simulates a wide range of in-use conditions to accurately predict the performance of injection-molded parts using Domo-validated digital material cards.

To support the wider adoption of recycled grades, a more complete range of material behavior models is essential. Domo has created no less than 700 models for its Techyl 4Earth A4E 218 V30, Techyl 4EarthA4E 218 V35, and Techyl 4Earth A4E 218 V50 BK grades in Digimat, so that engineers can evaluate the performance of parts by embedding a material model within their standard CAE tools. Techyl 4Earth A4E 218 grades are heat-stabilized, 100% recycled PA66, reinforced respectively with 30, 35, and 50% glass fiber.

This vast range of models enables customers to perform integrative simulations covering an exhaustive array of environmental conditions and load cases, including failure prediction; modal analysis; crash; noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH); and thermal dilation. Lifecycle analysis (LCA) of the product is also available.

“If the models of material behavior are oversimplified, there is insufficient data and that makes OEMs more reluctant to adopt the technology,” says Alexandre Chatelain, Simulation Models Database Manager - Domo Chemicals. “This is why we provide predictive models, so that engineers can use computer-aided engineering to optimize their designs and make the best possible use of our polymers. In this way, we inspire greater confidence so that polymers are applied in areas where they are traditionally overlooked and enable new product design innovations that are only possible with detailed material simulation.”

Domo has built one of the largest databases in the plastics industry, with over 42,000 files available in Digimat, covering more than 50 grades in PA6 and PA66. Moreover, these “material cards” are not just limited to static load, but also cover tests on a wide range of dynamic parameters. The files from this advanced database are made available to customers that have access to Digimat MX — Hexagon’s Material eXchange platform that enables customers to request validated proprietary material models within the software. Alternatively, Domo can perform the simulation on the customer’s behalf.

The Digimat database covers a full range of recycled as well as virgin materials, and the files can be sorted by tags such as eco-friendly or post-consumer. Domo can offer a wide range of material cards with useful features such as LCAs, demonstrating to customers that its polymers and compounds can meet their needs for complex load cases.

The development of eco-friendly polyamide solutions is an integral part of Domo’s sustainability strategy. Domo has pledged to enhance its offering of sustainable solutions, including a 20% increase in sustainable applications, a 20% reduction in the carbon footprint of its products, and a 50% increase in circular solutions. Many more products and associated technical services for a more sustainable future are in the Domo pipeline.

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