DSM Engineering Plastics has developed five new grades of its EcoPaXX resin for injection moulded composites.
EcoPaXX, launched last year, is a long-chain polyamide (PA) 410. It pairs typical long-chain polyamide properties, such as low moisture absorption and excellent chemical resistance, with high melting point – 250°C – and high crystallization rate typical for engineering plastics. EcoPaXX is 70% bio-based, consisting of building blocks derived from castor oil. Castor oil is obtained from the Ricinus Communis plant, which grows in tropical regions. It can grow on relatively poor soil and it does not compete with the food-chain.
In addition, EcoPaXX has been shown to be 100% carbon neutral from cradle to gate – the carbon dioxide which is generated during the production process of the polymer is fully compensated by the amount absorbed in the growth phase of the castor beans. Presently, both the Life Cycle Assessment and the Carbon Footprint analysis are being validated against the international standards ISO14040/44 and PAS2050.
The new grades are:
- EcoPaXX Q150-D – a general purpose, unfilled injection moluding grade. Potential applications in castor wheels and household equipment.
- EcoPaXX Q-HG6 and Q-HG10 – glass-reinforced (30% and 50%), heat-stabilised injection moulding grades. These materials can be used for all kind of applications where high stiffness and toughness are needed. Chemical resistance of these grades is excellent – they display high resistance against hot water / glycol, as well as hot oil, and salt solutions (calcium chloride). The materials exhibit excellent flow and mould temperatures of 80-90°C can be used as for PA 6 or 66). Injection molding parts have good surface appearance. Potential applications include parts in automotive cooling circuits, sensors which are exposed to oils and salts and structural parts which retain stiffness also under moist conditions.
- EcoPaXX Q-HGM24 – a glass/mineral reinforced injection moulding grade, especially suited for the injection moulding of large parts which should have low warpage and excellent surface quality. Because of its high melting point, the material can also be used at relatively high operating temperatures. Potential application are automotive engine covers. In high-powered engines, generating a lot of heat, conventional materials like PA6 or bio-based material like PA610, do not withstand the high peak temperatures, while materials like PA66 often lack the superior surface quality.
- EcoPaXX Q-KGS6 – a halogen-free flame-retardant glass reinforced (30%) compound (V-0 at 0.75 mm). The material has a light-colour and can easily be colored in the standard industrial RAL colors (e.g. light-grey). Potential applications are in connectors, circuit breakers and switch bodies.