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        IMA

PPA for die-cast metal replacement applied in air compressor housing

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Dutch chemicals firm DSM’s ForTii portfolio of materials, based on advanced high-temperature polyamide (PPA), was used in the housing of a newly redesigned compact air compressor used in car repair kits to fix flat tyres, as well as for various leisure activities. The pump is made by Chinese company Guan Xiang, a leading producer of portable air compressors.

By injection moulding the housing in ForTii instead of die-casting it in zinc, Guan Xian has reduced the weight of the air pump by more than 50%. In addition, the company was able to significantly reduce its production costs, as ForTii enabled extra functional integration and eliminated secondary assembly operations associated with zinc die-cast part.

A single component in ForTii replaced several die-cast zinc components in the air pump. The pump has to show a very high level of reliability in a wide range of operating conditions; for example, it has to be able to operate in ambient temperatures as low as -20°C while the internal operating temperature can reach over 200°C. Tests on the new design have in fact shown that it operates reliably at temperatures as low as -30°C and as high as 250°C without failure.

DSM says this will lead to further replacement of die-cast metal components across all industries. ForTii in applications is said to result in benefits through improved costs, reduced weight, and greater freedom to design parts with high levels of functional integration to make them fully fit for purpose.

DSM says the ForTii portfolio already includes grades that offer numerous advantages over die-cast aluminium and zinc, and the range will be further expanded over the course of this year.

ForTii retains its high stiffness and strength, even in high-temperature, high-humidity environments. It also exhibits dimensional stability over a wide temperature range and keeps its impact strength at low temperatures. This makes it suitable for the use in highly loaded structural parts, where normally die cast metals are considered.

Significant weight savings—sometimes by as much as 50% or even more—can be achieved by injection moulding parts designed specifically for ForTii. Total part costs can also be reduced, often by 20-30%.

(IMA)


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