Anoka, MN--Why redesign a best seller--unless you can produce the same quality product at up to 30% less cost from a materials standpoint? That possibility faced First Team Sports when it came to its hot-selling Roll USA(TM) brand of in-line skates.
The low-cost skate consists of a boot and frame injection molded as a single unit. First Team had used a specialty thermoplastic olefin to make the one-piece skate. However, after discussions with Amoco Polymers (Alpharetta, GA) engineers, First Team discovered it could substitute Amoco's ACC-TUF Polypropylene Impact Copolymer at a significant cost savings, while retaining the performance attributes of the more expensive material.
The copolymer solved the problem of balance between impact resistance and stiffness in thermoplastic materials, according to Mark Novak, Amoco market manager. Typically, the greater a material's impact resistance, the less its stiffness. ACCTUF's balanced properties result in a high degree of toughness, while resisting low-temperature impacts and thermal deformation.
"First Team simply found it could get more value from ACCTUF," Novak adds. "Not only did ACCTUF cost less than the material it previously used, but it achieved all the performance aspects the product required."
THE SCOOP ON SKATE MATERIAL
ACCTUF 3541 Copolymer
MELT FLOW RATE, ASTM D1238, 2.16 KG AT 230C
20 g/10 MIN
FLEXURAL MODULUS, ASTM D790B AT 23C
150 10(super3) PSI
TENSILE STRENGTH AT YIELD, ASTM D638 AT 23C
IZOD IMPACT STRENGTH, ASTM D256
1/8 INCH NOTCHED BAR AT 23C:
1/8 INCH NOTCHED BAR AT -20C: