French chemical producer Arkema is expanding the portfolio of its “Rilsan” PA 11 sourced from castor oil. This newest addition to the Rilsan biosourced product range is Rilsan S, a family of bio-PA 6.10 containing up to 62% renewable carbon and manufactured at its Zhangjiagang site in China.
Rilsan S ‘closes the gap between long-chain polyamides (PA10.10, PA10.12, PA12, PA11) and PA 6/PA 6.6’, said the company in a statement announcing the launch.
In addition to good processability and high abrasion resistance – comparable with PA 12, according to Arkema, – Rilsan S offers good chemical resistance to fuels, coolants, lubricants, greases and oils, as well as fuel and CO2 permeability, and even exceeds the long-chain polyamides’ thermal resistance and rigidity, in particular when reinforced with glass fiber. Zinc chloride resistance is fair, although not up to the outstanding performance of the long-chain polyamides.
Offering weldability on PA6/PA6.6 as well as long-chain polyamides, Rilsan S makes it possible for Arkema to produce any type of PA6.10-based alloys, all offering “excellent bonding properties towards all types of polyamide materials”. In addition, the new biobased PA features what Arkema described as “incomparable dimensional stability” relative to PA6/PA6.6.”
The various Rilsan S grades already available cover most applications in the field of transport (in particular for fluid transfer quick connectors), monofilaments and injection molded parts for automotive, sports or electronics applications.
“This innovation has been developed to meet the most pressing needs of our customers who are looking for a credible higher performance alternative to PA6 or PA6.6 polyamides, in the most demanding markets looking for better dimensional stability and chemical resistance,” explained José Teixeira Pires, General Manager for Long-Chain Polyamides and Alloys. “We are pleased to be able to provide a solution that suits our customers’ medium to long term capacity and competitiveness needs.”
Arkema is the only chemicals manufacturer to offer expertise spanning over 70 years in the chemistry of castor oil, the raw material for its Rilsan polyamide 11. This expertise was further bolsterd in 2012 with the acquisition of Casda Biomaterials, a manufacturer of sebacic acid derived from castor oil, and Suzhou HiPro Polymers Co Ltd, which produces polyamides from castor oil, as well as the more recent purchase of a 25% stake in Ihsedu Agrochem a subsidiary of the Indian castor oil supplier Jayant Agro-Organics.