The new special polyamides for the extrusion market are the next frontier for RadiciGroup Performance Plastics, with over 35 years of activity manufacturing technopolymers with varying formulations, from traditional to highly innovative products.
Today the Radilon® product range, as well as technopolymers that offer improved resistance to high temperatures (Radilon® A HHR and Radilon® XTreme) and reinforced materials for metal replacement (Radilon® A RW and Radilon® S URV high fluidity), includes long-chain polyamides: Radilon® D based on PA 6.10 from partially renewable sources, Radilon® DT based on PA 6.12 and RADILON CD that are copolymers PA 6.10/6.6 also being partially bio-based. These are polyamides with specific chemical-physical characteristics, whose properties can be adapted to suit the needs of the end customer. An innovative approach that RadiciGroup Performance Plastics is able to provide, thanks to its synergies with the Group’s other business areas – in particular with the Specialty Chemicals Area – with the aim of meeting the increasingly stringent market requirements, in terms of performance and flexibility.
So what are these special products main applications in the extrusion sector? PA 6.12 is used in the personal care industry (e.g. filaments used for toothbrushes or mascara applicators) thanks to its bend recovery characteristics, flexibility and chemical resistance. When properly formulated with compounding technology, this polyamide can also be used in pipe manufacturing (e.g. petrol ducts, oil & gas and air pipes) where, in addition to the chemical and mechanical resistance, the final product transparency is valued in respect to those manufactured with traditional polyamides (PA 6 e PA 66).
PA 6.10 is usually used for the production of monofilaments for industrial applications, for example, in Paper Machine Clothing (PMC), thanks to its unique chemical resistance and (bend recovery
characteristic which increase its durability; alternatively, it can be used for manufacturing pipes suitable for transporting petrol in fuel lines, mainly for its inherent burst strength.
Copolymers 6.10/6.6 are ideally suited for manufacturing packaging, films and wraps, also for the food industry where transparency, thermoformability and water vapour barrier properties are required. Thanks to the technologies provided by RadiciGroup Performance Plastics, a metal detectable material has been formulated using this polymer, which is used to manufacture brushes for cleaning devices in the food industry. The specific formulation allows for the detection of plastic residues, after cleaning objects that are intended to come into contact with food. This is a feature of utmost importance in terms of health and safety and that once again, shows how RadiciGroup is an innovative supplier who is able to meet the most demanding needs of its customers.
“By introducing this new range – said Enrico Simonato, RadiciGroup Performance Plastics Extrusion Market Manager – we aim at implementing a diversification process in the market, that is possible thanks to the vertical integration of our Group. The Novara chemical plant is our “internal” trusted partner for developing products in line with the different expectations of our customers”.
Until now, most of the extrusion product demand has been met by polyamides 11 and 12, which ensure a good chemical resistance, a low level of rigidity, translucency and low moisture absorption but are quite costly. RadiciGroup’s response is to offer an alternative, a range of LCPA- based materials with an excellent cost/performance ratio while maintaining good properties in terms of chemical resistance, low moisture absorption, good mechanical properties and better thermal properties (higher melting point). The latter feature is crucial when the final products need to be used under hot conditions or in contact with hot parts.