Solvay Advanced Polymers, LLC, recently announced that China Array Plastics, LLC, has been added as a certified injection molder of the company's Torlon® polyamide-imide (PAI) resin in China. China Array, based in Pittsfield, Mass., will mold a range of high-performance products for the automotive, oil and gas, and industrial markets at its 15,000-sq-ft facility in Wuhan, China. China Array specializes exclusively in custom molding of engineering thermoplastics. Along with materials such as PC, PBT, and PEI, China Array molds many high-performance and ultra-performance thermoplastics from Solvay Advanced Polymers including Udel® polysulfone (PSU), Radel® R polyphenylsulfone (PPSU), and KetaSpire® polyetheretherketone (PEEK). The new capability expands and reinforces China Array's offering in the high-performance plastics tier.
Torlon PAI is said to provide the highest strength and stiffness of any thermoplastic up to 275 C, along with superior resistance to creep and wear. It has outstanding resistance to strong acids and most organics, and is ideally suited for severe service environments. High-strength grades are well-suited for precision components used in repetitive-use, load-bearing operations. Wear-resistant grades provide an effective alternative to metal in high-temperature friction and wear applications in dry and lubricated environments. The material will be supplied from Solvay Advanced Polymers' Greenville, S.C. plant. China Array is expected to mold thrust washers and seal rings for automotive and heavy-duty transmissions and torque converters; tappets, poppets, and control valves for braking systems; and bushings and bearings for various industrial applications.