LANXESS has expanded its service offering of flame-retardant variants of plastics due to factors such as increasing electric mobility and digitalization in all areas of life.
An experimental injection mold for an application-focused part was developed in the company’s technical lab for polymer processing at the Dormagen plant.
“We want to use this mold for the realistic analysis of new flame-retardant as well as hydrolysis-stabilized materials. First, we aim to identify their special processing characteristics ahead of time so that we can adapt the formulations, where required, already during the product development stage,” explains Katharina Schütz, a Project engineer at the polymer processing lab of the High-Performance Materials (HPM) business unit. “Second, we want to give processors of our flame-retardant plastics specific processing recommendations for serial production.”
“The palm-sized part can also be used for mechanical, electrical and flame-retardant testing to evaluate the performance of a material depending on various process parameters and practical geometry,” explains Sarah Luers, an expert in E&E application development at HPM.
The mold reflects the typical challenges encountered during injection molding of flame-retardant polyamide and polyester compounds.
Schütz: “This experimental mold allows us to reproduce these challenges in a practice-based manner and find ways for improvement.”
The injection mold developed by the HPM plastics experts is a highly functional, housing-like demonstrator part integrating numerous aspects from different areas of application. Its complex geometry exhibits sudden changes in wall thickness, openings, larger planar sections, ribs and rough “imitations” of plug connections. Snap fits with different geometries – similar to those on e.g. terminal blocks – have also been integrated along with screw bosses of varying diameters.
The tests that HPM performs among others at its part testing center include drop tests, tracking resistance measurements under UL 746A (Comparative Tracking Index, CTI) or glow-wire tests under IEC 60695-2-11 to -13.