High-flow resins enable parts to have thinner walls

21st February 2013

Today electrical/electronic part designers are required to fit more functionality into ever-smaller spaces and reduce system costs. One way to do both is to use Super High Flow resins, which enable thinner-walled parts to be moulded.

They also speed up processing and cut costs while maintaining good mechanical and heat performances. Sabic Innovative Plastics is introducing a complete portfolio of glass-filled Super High Flow Valox SHF resins that are claimed to offer twice the flow length of standard glass-filled polybutylene terephthalate (PBT).

With this comprehensive PBT product family, electrical and automotive part manufacturers have a wider choice of materials when designing thin-walled parts such as connectors and excess voltage cut-off switches.

Arthur van Dijk, industry manager for electrical and lighting at Sabic Innovative Plastics, comments: "More than ever, our customers are under tremendous pressure to rapidly produce electrical components with less weight and mass, and at a lower price. Our full line of Super High Flow Valox resins relieves the stress by providing greater design flexibility and increased productivity and capacity compared to other PBT resins. Now that we have added new grades featuring enhanced hydrolytic stability, low warpage and better weathering, Valox SHF resins can be used even more widely – in warm, moist, under-hood environments and for small, highly precise connectors, for example."

By doubling the flow performance of traditional glass-filled PBT resins, Valox SHF resin grades offer several important benefits:

* Thinner-walled parts and more-complex designs (part consolidation).
* Reduced part stress, resulting in better dimensional stability and performance.
* Reduced system costs by eliminating short shots (scrap), minimising tool maintenance due to lower injection pressure, and reducing the amount of resin required. Also, because Valox SHF resin can be processed at a lower temperature than conventional PBT resins, less energy for heating/cooling is needed.
* Reduced cycle time by up to 25 per cent due to faster injection rate and reduced cooling time, leading to higher productivity.

Sabic's Valox SHF resin portfolio offers customers both flame-retardant and non-flame-retardant grades. Glass fibre levels range from 15-40 per cent, and there are low-warpage and hydrolytically stable grades available. All grades are said to offer best-in-class performance, beginning with superior flow properties combined with chemical resistance, mechanical and heat performances.

In addition to replacing traditional glass-filled PBT resins, Valox SHF resin grades can be used in place of liquid crystalline polymers (LCPs) in applications where higher heat is not needed. The Sabic Innovative Plastics' materials offer comparable flow but are much easier to process than LCPs and are significantly less expensive.

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