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Plastics & Elastomers

Performance Polyamides: Advances for Engineering Applications

Donald Rosato – May 10, 2019

TAGS:  High Heat Materials     Metal Replacement      Automotive    

Polyamide Performance DevelopmentsPolyamide (Nylon) engineering thermoplastics are leading the way in this key plastics material segment in aggressively extending their price performance capabilities.

While other engineering plastic resin and compound developers both crystalline and amorphous are developing slower currently, the growth trajectory for polyamides such as Nylon 66, 6, 46 right up to high heat PolyPhthalAmides (PPAs) is ever upward.

Thus, it is important to keep updated with polyamide performance developments.

Let's have a look at some of the latest advances...

Latest Polyamide Advances


Want to know more? Register your interest for the full 1 hour review course by leading plastics expert Dr. Donald Rosato.

DSM’s 3D Printing PA Grade & Specialty PPA for Electronic Connectors

Carbon Fiber Filled PA6/66 for 3D Printed Structural Parts

Novamid® id1030 cf10 is a new PA6/66 grade of carbon reinforced polyamide that brings properties of 3D printed parts close to what is usually achievable only by injection molding. With a loading of 10% carbon fiber, printed parts are stronger, tougher and stiffer compared with other FFF materials.

Novamid ID features include:

  • original development was for high performance automotive and electronics end uses
  • highly ductile and mechanically tough
  • broad ranging chemical resistance
  • heat resistance to 150°C
  • excellent 3D printing layer to layer adhesion
  • high crystallinity permits designs with overhangs

It has superior layer to layer adhesion compared to competitive ABS, PLA, and TPU filaments currently in the marketplace.

DSM Stanyl PA4T for USB Type-C Connector

DSM’s higher heat, crystalline, specialty PA4T PolyPhthalAmide (PPA) has a very high Comparative Tracking Index (CTI) of greater than 400 Volts (V), and keeps this performance level for durations of twice as long as competitive high-performance resins. Most alternative resins have CTIs well below 400V.

DSM Stanyl PA4T USB Type-C connector
DSM Stanyl PA4T USB Type-C connector

In standard connector drop tests made of Liquid Crystal Polymer (LCP) connector pins fail at approximately nine drops leading to a failed/no pass short circuit. Neither DSM’s Stanyl PA4T or Stanyl PA46 grades ever fail. As a result, it has been globally approved in USB Type-C connectors.

Solvay’s Technyl® 4earth PA (Polyamide, Nylon) 66 resin

Solvay’s Technyl® 4earth PA (Polyamide, Nylon) 66 resin is made from recycled nylon fiber automotive airbags. German industrial cleaning equipment supplier Kärcher is currently using a 30% glass reinforced Technyl® 4earth PA 66 grade in a lance spray nozzle.

This recycled version exhibits similar to its virgin resin equivalent based compound comparable hydrolysis resistance, impact strength, cleaning chemical compatibility, while adding an important sustainability parameter improvement. From an environmental standpoint Technyl® 4earth PA 66 in comparison to traditional polyamide 66 compounds has achieved:

  • One fourth carbon footprint reduction
  • Halved the use of non-renewable materials, and
  • Two thirds decreased water use in manufacturing
Solvay’s Technyl® 4earth PA
Solvay’s Technyl 4earth PA 66 Kärcher Spray Lance (L), Carbon Footprint (R)

Teknor Apex’s Creamid® 240

Teknor Apex’s Creamid® 240 H7.5 is a glass reinforced high heat polyamide 66 compound that cost effectively straddles the performance gap between standard heat resistant nylons and more expensive PolyPhthalAmide (PPA) materials for use in automotive under-the-hood metal replacement applications.

Creamid® 240 H7.5 is based on proprietary additive compounding and not traditional surface shielding technology to achieve its enhanced heat resistance. Cost savings average a third less than PPAs. Also, lower injection molding melt processing and mold temperatures further reduce energy use and add to cost savings.

Furthermore, enhanced high flow properties play well in automotive metal replacing flow paths.

Teknor Apex’s Creamid® 240 v/s Traditional PPa Compound
Teknor Apex’s Creamid® 240 Higher Heat PA66 Compound (L, Red) Versus PA 66 and PPA (R, Blue)

Akro-Plastic's Akromid® B3 GF30 1

Akro-Plastic has commercialized its Akromid® B3 GF30 1, a PA6 based compound with 30% glass reinforcement, in a BMW Mini passenger car air vent slats. The PA6 compound represents an 8% plus weight saving over the previously used PA66 material. The air vent slat parts are very:

  • Dimensionally stable
  • Sink mark free
  • Maintain stiffness for part locking in place and appearance purposes, and are
  • Easily colored
Akro-Plastic PA6 BMW Mini Air Vent Slats Compound
Akro-Plastic PA6 BMW Mini Air Vent Slats Compound

DuPont's Biobased Zytel® HTN PPA

DuPont has created a first ever partially biobased, 30% glass filled, Zytel® HTN FR42G30NH PolyPhthalAmide (PPA) grade. It targets at high heat, miniaturized, Surface Mount Technology (SMT) connectors for high continuous use 130°C temperature, automotive under-the-hood, electronic applications.

It also holds promise in thermoset material replacement in miniaturized circuit breakers. It uses halogen free flame retardants and is UL (Underwriters Lab) V-0 rated at 0.4 mm (millimeter) thickness. Longer term, electric and autonomous electric vehicle (EV) connector applications will be a major market user focusing on lighter weight battery pack systems.

Zytel® HTN PPA possesses a unique combination of high mechanical strength, flexural stiffness, low creep resistance, and broad temperature range stability required in today’s ever miniaturizing, electrical and electronic parts.

DuPont Zytel® HTN PPA Connector Housing
DuPont Zytel® HTN PPA Connector Housing

BASF’s Ultramid® Vision B3K

BASF’s new Ultramid® Vision B3K is a semi-transparent polyamide product. It has been designed to compete between transparent PolyCarbonate (PC) on the higher performance end and Styrene AcryloNitrile (SAN) on the low end where it keeps traditional nylon’s resistance to chemicals, heat, and UV (Ultra Violet).

This resin is ideal for industrial visual check devices thicker than 1-2 mm (millimeter)parts, where even traditional amorphous aliphatic polyamides become opaque. It is available in a range of transparent colors and maintains consistent light-fastness properties.

BASF Ultramid® Vision LED Display System
BASF Ultramid® Vision LED Display System

Lanxess’ Glass Reinforced PolyAmide Plastic Metal Hybrid Manufactured Systems

Lanxess’ glass reinforced PolyAmide (PA) 6 plastic metal hybrid manufactured systems are now working with hollow metal profiles with a target application emphasis on round as well as rectangular cross sections.

This technology will find use in automotive structural cross beams, tailgates, seat frames, front end bumper supports, and pedal boxes/brakes where weight reduction is critical.

Lanxess' compound development covers a broad range of high flow and glass filled PA6 compounds for replacing traditional sheet metal hollow profiles.

Lanxess' PA6 Plastic
Lanxess' PA6 Plastic (Black) Metal Hybrid Hollow Profile Technology Demonstrator Part

Commercially Available Polyamide Grades

Polymer Application Check Detailed Information About Polyamide (PA) or Nylon

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