A growing demand to replace metals with lighter, cost-effective materials has prompted Ticona (Florence, KY) to develop new metal-effect polymers, with a new line to be introduced this week at Chinaplas (May 18-21) in Guangzhou (Booth 11.2C31). The company is also promoting technical resources available to customers in Asia, the Americas, and Europe to design and manufacture these metal replacement parts, and will introduce new grades of high-impact modified acetal copolymers (POM) at the show.
MetaLX metal-effect in Hostaform POM can be used in applications like metallic-look door handles for vehicle interiors.
The MetaLX metal-effect appearance polymers enable designers to eliminate costs associated with secondary operations like painting or plating, including deburring, pretreatment, protective films, or special packaging for shipping. Unfilled, glass-reinforced, flame-retardant glass-reinforced, and elastomeric grades are available in many polymers, including Ticona’s Hostaform/Celcon POM, Celanex thermoplastic polyester (PBT), and Riteflex thermoplastic polyester elastomer (TPC-ET). “Eliminating the need for paint, along with the probability of scratching and peeling, make the MetaLX metal-effect polymer grades a designer’s dream,” said Bruce Mulholland, color technology manager for Ticona. “Companies interested in marketing eco-friendly products find that eliminating paint or even plating is both responsible and cost effective.”
With an application development center in Shanghai and customer support resources around the world, the company says it can help processors achieve an estimated 15% total cost savings in applications that use polymers instead of metals. This metal replacement interest is especially high in automotive applications, with Roeland Polet, general manager Ticona, adding, “In the near term, Ticona can help an automaker reduce the average weight of a medium-sized car up to 110 lb (50 kg). Our longer-term goal is to replace metal with relevant composites and hybrid solutions that could reduce the weight of a passenger car by more than 660 lb (300 kg).”
Backbone modifications to the company’s high-impact modified acetal copolymers (POM) have also allowed Ticona to expand its Hostaform product offering, with new grades to be introduced at Chinaplas 2009. The first member of this POM family made its debut at last year’s Chinaplas, but advances made since then offer grades with improved impact resistance, as well as products designed for high productivity.
The new Hostaform POM S 9362 and S 9363 for high productivity are said to offer up to 40% less cooling time, higher modulus and heat deflection temperature, and up to 200% weldline strength. The high impact performance grade POM S 9364 is said to provide up to 75% improved impact performance and up to 300% better weldline strength. The new grades, which will compete against impact-modified PA with a reported higher modulus and better dimensional stability, are expected to be commercially available in Q4 2009. —[email protected]