Substitute for Die-Cast Aluminium

Mumbai, India (PressExposure) October 24, 2009 -- In many cases, polyamide 6 represents a viable, cost-effective alternative to die-cast aluminum in the production of fuel filter housings. One example of this is the fuel filter for the luxury sedan of a German automaker. This component is made by Mann+Hummel, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of filter and intake systems for the automotive and mechanical engineering industries. The fuel filter’s housing and lid are made of Durethan DP BCF 30 X H2.0, a polyamide 6 from LANXESS that is reinforced with 30 percent by weight glass and carbon fibers. “The main reason for using our electrically conductive material was that, unlike die-cast aluminum, it yields components that require little secondary finishing and simplifies subsequent assembly. What’s more, our thermoplastic offers enhanced design freedom and greater weight-reducing potential”, explains Bernhard Stoll, a technical customer service expert in LANXESS’s Semi-Crystalline Products business unit.

Thanks to its proportion of carbon fibers, the polyamide 6 demonstrates excellent anti-static properties. For example, it has a specific surface resistance (IEC 60093) in a freshly molded state of around 2,000 ohms (2E3). The values for standard polyamide are in the order of 1014 ohms (1E14). The material’s excellent electrical conductivity prevents static from building up in the filter housing due to the media flowing through it, for example.

Ready to use straight from the injection molding machine and easy to weld

Some die-cast aluminum components require considerable secondary finishing (milling, grinding, and drilling), for example, to remove flash, obtain flat sealing faces or incorporate openings. This can generate significant costs. “Our polyamide 6, on the other hand, yields injection molded components that require no secondary finishing and can be used straight away”, asserts Stoll. Sealing the housing shut with the lid is also simpler. The two components are easy to weld together in a highly automated process using ultrasound without soiling the inside of the filter. This produces welded joints that satisfy the stringent requirements relating to tightness and strength. With die-cast aluminum, on the other hand, the lid and housing need to be screwed together after inserting a seal, which requires significant additional expenses.

Lightweight components with high dynamic load-bearing capacity

Because its density is around half that of die-cast aluminum, the heat-stabilized polyamide 6 offers a number of options for reducing the weight of components. Even with thin walls, the material demonstrates good dynamic load-bearing capacity to withstand the substantial pressure fluctuations and vibrations that occur when vehicles are moving. A further benefit is the good resistance to gasoline, diesel and the new biofuels. This has been demonstrated in extensive accelerated aging tests on numerous grades of Durethan that LANXESS has carried out in cooperation with Mann+Hummel. Durethan DP BCF 30 X H2.0, for example, is very resistant to diesel fuels with varying biodiesel contents (including canola and soybean oil methyl ester). Its mechanical properties, such as flexural strength, flexural modulus and flexural strain at flexural strength remain at virtually the same high level after aging.

Leverkusen, October 13, 2009 rei/fah (2009-00182e)

Forward-Looking Statements This news release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by LANXESS AG management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.

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LANXESS is a leading specialty chemicals company with sales of EUR 6.58 billion in 2008 and currently 14,335 employees in 23 countries. The company is represented at 46 production sites worldwide. The core business of LANXESS is the development, manufacturing and marketing of plastics, rubber, intermediates and specialty chemicals.

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Press Release Submitted On: October 26, 2009 at 6:11 am
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