Solvay Engineered Polymers Inc., has introduced a new engineered polyolefin material in its SEQUEL(R) 1800 series of products. The new SEQUEL 1828 polyolefin exhibits a coefficient of linear thermal expansion (CLTE) that is the lowest of any material the company has yet developed.
CLTE is a measure of how much a finished part will shrink or grow in response to changing temperatures. With a CLTE of 3.5 x 10(-5) mm/mm/ degrees C, the new SEQUEL 1828 material is at least 10% more resistant to changing dimensions than any product in the company's extensive portfolio of thermoplastic polyolefins. The resistance to dimensional change with varying temperature makes the new product ideal for applications that demand tight tolerances. Among the targeted applications are automotive body panels such as fenders, body claddings, or moldings that are in contact or close proximity to a vehicle's sheet metal.
Products in the SEQUEL 1800 series of engineered polyolefins have been successful as replacements for more expensive engineering resins such as ASA (acrylonitrile styrene acrylate) or engineering alloys such as PC/ASA (polycarbonate/ASA) or PC/PBT (polycarbonate/polybutylene terephthalate).
The new SEQUEL 1828 material can now compete with 30% glass-filled polyurethane (TPU). It may even merit consideration against glass-filled nylon in some applications. In addition, this engineered polyolefin exhibits less anisotropy than glass- filled materials, so its shrink and CLTE performance are not so dependent on directional orientation. Among the advantages the new material enjoys over glass-filled materials are its efficient and economical processing characteristics. The excellent flow properties of this new material mean it can easily fill larger, thinner, and more complex molds, reducing scrap rates as well as injection-molding cycle times. The material can also be completely recycled without significant loss of properties - a benefit shared by all of the company's thermoplastic polyolefin products.
Reduced maintenance on manufacturing equipment can result in direct savings. Additional indirect economies accrue from the ability of the material to produce thinner parts, thereby saving weight, which is particularly important to the automotive industry. In addition, designers have more opportunities to consolidate parts in a more complex design.