Sabic showcases at aquatech comprehensive services to predict performance of thermoplastics in water management


Company Spotlights New Predictive Engineering Capabilities of its Water Management Center of Excellence, NORYL Resin's Anti-biofouling Performance, and New Offerings for Pipes

SABIC, a global leader in the chemical industry, is sharing its latest capabilities to support the global water industry here at Aquatech Amsterdam from Oct. 31 – Nov. 3 in stand #1.430. The company is featuring new services such as Predictive Engineering to its Water Management Center of Excellence located in Bergen Op Zoom, the Netherlands - a technology center where the company’s experts work with water industry manufacturers to test and optimize products designed with SABIC’s high-performance engineering resins. SABIC is also highlighting recent research on its NORYL polyphenylene ether (PPE) resin portfolio, which includes new anti-biofouling properties and anisotropic behavior of fiber-reinforced grades. Further, SABIC is introducing new, innovative additions to its robust portfolio of polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) materials for the global pipe industry. SABIC’s specialized materials for water management have brought innovation by allowing new designs and manufacturing process to many parts formerly produced in metal, including pump impellers, pipes, water meters and water softening valves.

“SABIC’s participation at Aquatech Amsterdam illustrates our commitment to the global water management industry and how we closely collaborate with our customers to help them develop the next generation of solutions utilizing the benefits of advanced resin technologies”, said William Wan, NORYL resins business director, Specialties, SABIC. “The unique design, product development and predictive engineering capabilities we offer through our Water Management Center of Excellence will no doubt play a critical role in the future of this industry.”

Replacing traditional copper, stainless steel, ductile iron and brass with SABIC’s thermoplastic materials can facilitate revitalization of infrastructure used for potable, process and wastewater, and reduce system costs through greater efficiency and longer use.

Glass-reinforced NORYL FE1630PW resin, for example, has been rigorously tested and shown to meet major European and global directives for potable water systems, as well as Germany’s KTW regulation, the European and UK Water Regulations Advisory Board (WRAS), France’s Attestation de Conformite Sanitaire (ACS) and the global NSF/ANSI Standard 61. Materials such as NORYL resin can offer industry manufacturers greater design freedom, enhanced performance in harsh environmental conditions and system cost reduction.

Enhanced Water Management Center of Excellence

Predictive Engineering Services is the newest capability of SABIC’s Water Management Center of Excellence. It is designed to give customers greater confidence in resin performance, streamline part development and optimization, and accelerate time to market. Using sophisticated technologies, a specialized suite of software and state-of-the-art equipment, SABIC experts complete a process that includes mold flow analysis to understand process filling behavior, integration of results with resin mechanical data, and 3D simulation using algorithms and software tools.

One important focus is anisotropic modeling of fiber-reinforced resins to determine part performance in terms of failure time under various environmental and loading conditions (i.e., burst, creep and fatigue). At Aquatech Amsterdam, SABIC is featuring results from anisotropic testing and simulations conducted using its Predictive Engineering Services on glass-reinforced NORYL FE1630PW resin. An amorphous blend of PPE and polystyrene (PS), this NORYL resin grade is characterized by excellent dimensional stability and creep resistance, low mold shrinkage and low water absorption.

The Water Management Center of Excellence was recently enhanced with new equipment, including a multipurpose fatigue pressure testing device called the Pulsator and chemical conditioning equipment. The Pulsator, designed to evaluate the fatigue performance of materials and applications under typical test conditions defined by our customers, is on display at the SABIC exhibit.

SABIC’s Water Management Center of Excellence, which opened in 2005, helps global customers develop innovative solutions using thermoplastic resins. Its scientists and technologists simulate real-life water environments on generic and real customer parts in a laboratory setting and measure outcomes using these and other testing procedures, including:

  • Burst pressure (short-term pressure resistance)
  • Creep rupture (long-term pressure resistance)
  • Fatigue pressure (long-term pressure resistance)
  • Chemical exposure including chlorines
  • Hot water resistance
  • Hot-cold shock

This work is complemented by ongoing research into new processing technologies and assembly techniques to help meet the special requirements of water management applications.

Optimized Customer Applications

Visitors to the SABIC stand at Aquatech can examine several commercial applications, such as a water softener valve housing from Austria’s BWT Wassertechnik GmbH. This valve housing, now molded from fiber-reinforced NORYL resin, previously experienced failure modes under burst and cyclic pressure testing. To locate the exact failure initiation point, SABIC’s Predictive Engineering Services completed advanced 3D simulations, including anisotropic performance simulations. In conjunction with part testing at the Center of Excellence, these simulations accurately predicted two locations of part failure under specific burst and cyclic pressure conditions. BWT subsequently selected the NORYL resin and modified the part design to reduce stress and meet quality specifications for lifetime performance.

Another featured application is a tower rack unit from CERAFILTEC, which is used to filter out impurities from seawater, industrial wastewater and sewage to produce clean drinking water. This part is molded from NORYL resin, which delivers higher resistance to harsh water conditions than previous materials used by CERAFILTEC, including high-grade steel. The SABIC material also enabled a simplified, injection-molded design requiring no other plastics or metal for the module housing.

SABIC is also displaying a bathroom water tap from Ideal Standard featuring a cartridge housing made from NORYL resin and an adapter made from ULTEM polyetherimide (PEI) resin. Both materials are dimensionally stable over a wide temperature range to ensure leakage-free operation, and deliver hydrolytic stability and chlorine resistance for reliable, long-term performance.

Better Answer to Biofouling

SABIC engineering resins offer the potential to build cleaner, safer and more cost-effective water systems. For example, unfilled NORYL resin has been shown to offer very low biomass production potential (BPP), or biofouling, compared to metal, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and high-density PE. Biofouling, the accumulation of microorganisms, algae and plants on wet and underwater surfaces, reduces the efficiency of membranes and can shorten the lifetime of pipes and other underwater applications. It is also associated with health risks such as Legionella pneumophila. In addition to low BPP, NORYL resin’s properties of high hydrophobicity, low surface roughness and excellent chlorine resistance make it a promising candidate for multilayer pipe that resists biofouling.

New Materials for Piping

For under-the-ground infrastructure pipe applications, SABIC is launching here today

SABIC® VESTOLEN A RELY 5933RD a high density polyethylene (HDPE). This is a PE100 classified material typically used for potable water distribution pipes, with extra resistance against chlorinated disinfectants and slow crack growth formation. Also being launched at Aquatech is SABIC’s new UDMAX GPE tape for reinforced pipes. This tape, made from glass-reinforced PE, reduces the amount of resin required to manufacture the pipes, thereby lowering weight, and increasing strength to resist higher water pressure.

For hot and cold water (indoor) pipe applications, SABIC is launching a glass-fiber-reinforced polypropylene random copolymer (PPR) named SABIC® PP compound G1620B, which can help to reduce thermal elongation of pipes when exposed to fluctuating temperatures. To enable higher flexibility for the installation of underfloor heating pipes, SABIC is also introducing SABIC® HDPE P4200RT, classified as pipe material high density polyethylene raised temperature (PE-RT) Type II.

In addition to NORYL resins and its comprehensive offerings for pipes, SABIC offers an extensive portfolio of high-performance engineering resins for water management applications. These include:

  • CYCOLAC acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) resins for outstanding aesthetics, flow, toughness, dimensional stability, and high temperature resistance.
  • LNP specialty compounds for customized performance
  • ULTEM PEI resin for unparalleled mechanical performance in high-heat, chemically challenging environments
  • LEXAN resin (a polycarbonate material) for ductility and transparency
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