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DSM expands water management range with new ForTii® Ace high-performance polyamide and Xytron™ PPS compounds

Singapore, SG, 18 Oct 2017 11:00 CEST

Royal DSM, a global science­based company active in health, nutrition, and materials, is adding a glass-reinforced grade of its ground-breaking high temperature-resistant ForTii® Ace polyamide and Xytron™ polyphene sulphide (PPS) compounds to its specialty portfolio of materials for products used in water management.
DSM expands water management range with new ForTii® Ace high-performance polyamide and Xytron™ PPS compounds

ForTii Ace WX51-FC has now been specifically developed for the most demanding drinking water contact applications, with long exposure to hot water of 100°C and above. The material, which has a 30% glass fiber content, has proven superior retention of properties in long-term water contact.

ForTii Ace is a PPA based on C4 (PA4T) chemistry, with a high glass transition temperature (Tg) of 160°C; this is due to its high aromatic content - higher than any other commercial PPA. Even though, as with most other polyamides, the transition point decreases in the presence of water, the mechanical properties of ForTii Ace remain on a substantially higher level for the vast majority of the hot water applications, compared to other alternative PPAs. These materials have on average a Tg of around 35 degrees lower.

This superior high temperature resistance, provides users in the water management industry with important extra advantages when designing parts in ForTii Ace WX51-FC. It is ideal for applications in long-term contact with water at temperatures of 100°C, and even higher.

Tests carried out confirm that ForTii Ace WX51-FC also has superior hydrolysis resistance, maintaining its strength, for a much longer period than alternative materials. Its overall resistance to most chemicals at elevated temperatures is very good too.

Parts injection molded in ForTii Ace WX51-FC demonstrate superior weldline strength retention after long term exposure to hot water - even at temperatures over 100°C. This is important in complex parts, where multiple flow paths can create numerous weldlines; these are typically areas of mechanical weakness in any design.

Processability is another plus factor for ForTii Ace WX51-FC; it has high melt stability and it also crystallizes very quickly on cooling, allowing parts to be de-molded quickly and reducing overall cycle times. “The combination of excellent mechanical properties and ease of processing provides users with more room for optimization and customization,” says Caroline Mitterlehner, Global Business Manager Water Management.

ForTii Ace WX51-FC complements existing grades of ForTii that DSM has developed for water management applications such as water heating systems, water meters, sanitary products, and small and large appliances. These include ForTii WX11-FC, another 30% glass reinforced product, which has a Tg of 125°C and very good hydrolysis resistance. Parts injection molded in ForTii WX11-FC have higher weldline strength than incumbent PPAs that typically require reinforcement levels of 35% to 40% to achieve similar mechanical performance. This results in lower tool wear and better surface finish. In addition, parts injection molded in ForTii WX11-FC warp less than other PPAs. No other high temperature polyamide flows as well as ForTii.

“DSM has over 25 years of experience in highly demanding automotive and electronics applications, where our material is required to meet and exceed very high temperature and stiffness requirements,” says Mitterlehner. “Now, having expanded our scientific knowledge with ForTii, we are using this experience to expand into the drinking water contact market, which has its own very strict specifications, rules and regulations.

“Our scientists have a long history with high performance polyamide technology, beginning with our Stanyl PA46 material and more recently with ForTii and ForTii Ace. We continue to build our portfolio and extend and our scientific expertise.”

Xytron PPS for high precision and dimensional stability

DSM also has products in its EcoPaXX® PA410 range that are suitable for long-term contact with water, as well as new Xytron polyphenylene sulfide (PPS) grades G3020DW-FC (30% glass filled), G4020DW-FC (40% glass filled) and G3010E (impact modified).

With DSM’s technology for reducing the amount of flash typical of PPS while remains at high flowability, these Xytron grades outperform existing compounds in the market. “Achieving low flash was an important target in the development of these products,” says Mitterlehner. “There are numerous sources of PPS available to processors today, so we needed to make sure that the new Xytron grades were much more than ‘me too’ types. The lower deburring cost plus high flowability proves the ‘low flash, high flow’ technology to processors with tangible extra value in production of high performance parts.”

Xytron compounds are ideal for drinking water-contact applications, as polyphenylene sulfides generally exhibit even higher purity than polyamides. PPS has nearly no water absorption, making Xytron ideal for very complex, high precision parts where very high dimensional stability is called for. Similarly, mechanical properties remain unchanged after water uptake - one factor less to consider in part design.

Where high precision, very high stiffness, temperature- and chemical resistance are required, Xytron PPS is the material of choice. With its high continuous-use temperature of 240°C, excellent surface finish, high precision molding and low thermal expansion makes Xytron PPS suitable for a wide variety of applications in water-contact applications.

With EcoPaXX PA410, ForTii and ForTii Ace PPA, plus Xytron PPS, DSM is now a full solution provider to the drinking water contact market.