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A filled nylon for gas-assist molding

For gas-assist molding applications, Capron SEGM35 H1 nylon is formulated to offer a resin-rich, sink-free surface appearance even with the process' slower fill speeds, low injection pressures, and melt-front hesitation. With 15% glass-fiber reinforcement and 25% mineral filling, Capron SEGM35 H1 is intended for applications such as vehicle mirror housings, roof racks, door handles, and bezels. It is available in natural, black, and an outdoor UV-resistant grade, and it accepts painting. Honeywell Engineered Applications and Solutions

This plastic changes color

A new polycarbonate with color-shifting properties has been added to the growing Visualfx line of special-effects plastics. Called LEXAN Intrigue, the material produces parts that exhibit an "angular metamerism," or a color shift with changes in the viewing angle. GE Plastics can formulate Intrigue resins to produce a variety of 3D illusions-from vivid color shifts to more subtle highlighting tints. The material can also achieve opal, mica, pearlescent, or gunmetal looks. GE creates the color-shifting effects with a proprietary mix of specialty pigments that produce a "thin-film light-interference phenomenon," according to polycarbonate product manager Mike Werner. He explains that Intrigue materials consist of multiple layers of opaque, ultra-thin, mirror-like flakes; different colors result as these layers interfere with light waves. Applications for the new material include any product that "relies on aesthetics," says Werner, who cites consumer electronics, sports equipment, automotive parts, and interior design products as a few examples. GE Plastics

Tough plastic offered in machinable shapes

With a dimensional stability and strength that rival some metals, Torlon PAI has long gone into environments so demanding that other short-fiber-reinforced plastics would wilt. Now, it's become available in stock shapes for machining, opening up applications for low-volume runs and for parts whose flow lengths rule out molding. The stock shapes come in two grades: Torlon 5030 is a glass-fiber-reinforced grade, and Torlon 7130 is reinforced with graphite fibers. Both materials "bridge the gap" between short-fiber-reinforced plastics and more costly continuous-fiber-reinforced plastics, particularly at elevated temperatures, reports product engineer Edward Alvarez. Torlon 7130 shines in the dimensional-stability department with a CLTE of 0.5 2 10-5 inch/inch/degree F (see chart). It exhibits a flexural modulus of nearly three million psi at room temperature and of more than two million psi at 450F. Also, Torlon 7130 exhibits the fatigue strength, low coefficient of friction, and high thermal conductivity needed in heavy-duty wear and friction applications, says Alvarez. As for Torlon 5030, its room temperature tensile strength is 30,000 psi while its flexural modulus comes to 1.7 million psi-or about 50% more than unreinforced PAI stock shapes. At 450F, Torlon 5030 has a 16,000-psi tensile strength and a 1.4-million psi flex mod, still in excess of the room temperature values of nylon, acetal, PPS, and PEEK, Alvarez notes. At temperatures higher than 300F, he adds, Torlon 5030 is stronger and stiffer than T-6 aluminum. The material offers a CLTE of 0.9 2 10-5 inch/inch/degree F and dielectric strength of 840 V/mil. DSM stocks both materials in the U.S. and in Europe. Both materials are available in rod form from 0.5 inch to 1.5 inches diameter in 48-inch lengths. DSM Engineering Plastic Products

TPE performs when temperatures drop

Santoprene 7000, an olefinic thermoplastic elastomer, keeps its properties even when the mercury falls. With a glass-transition point of -88C, this new material stays flexible at temperatures as low as -80C and exhibits compression recovery at temperatures down to -40C. The materials reportedly withstand long-term exposure down to -135C. Available in hardnesses from 60 Shore A to 40 Shore D, the new Santoprene also offers a low compression set, low coefficient of friction, and resistance to grease. The first commercial application is likely to be in automotive constant-velocity-joint (CVJ) boots. Similar grades are available for the industrial and construction markets-for applications such as expansion joints, compression seals, and belting. The material has also seen use as weatherseals in Siberia, where temperatures can fall below -60C. Advanced Elastomer Systems

Global colors for Carilon

Users of Carilon aliphatic polyketones from Shell Chemical can now draw on a wider palette of standard colors thanks to a new global colorant program from Clariant Masterbatches. While Carilon has already gained recognition in applications needing innate lubricity, durability, flame retardation, and chemical resistance-particularly automotive fuel components, electrical applications, and gears-the colorant process may open up new consumer product applications, according to Chuck Robbins, Clariant's product manager for engineering resins. The new Carilon colorants, which rely on a modified polyketone carrier, do not interfere with the material's desirable flow and mechanical properties, Robbins reports. For the U.S. market, Clariant has come out with a palette of 12 standard colors. All the U.S. formulations have received UL recognition. Clariant's palette for Europe consists of 20 standard colors. In addition to standard offerings, Clariant has also begun to produce custom colors for Carilon. Clariant, Masterbatches Div.

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