New line of injection molded thermoplastic components to compete with metals

A new line from Piper Plastics is said to bridge the performance gap between components produced via standard injection molding compounds and pre-preg lay-up composite materials. The new material, called Kyron Max, allow parts to be injection molded at high volumes with strengths that approach lay-up composite and metals.

The company claims that the Kyron Max series will "significantly changes the way design engineers think of plastic materials." "The unique combination of a proprietary high pressure molding technology, coupled with a state-of-the-art material technology, is used to produce the highest strength structural components made from thermoplastics today," the company stated. The company believes that the new materials offer mechanical properties that meet, and in some cases exceed, those of metals.

Generally speaking, even the strongest moldable plastics cannot match the strength of metals so the metal part geometry must be altered and re-engineered to utilize plastic materials. This often involves adding much more material volume of the plastic which can compromise the weight savings and cost reduction advantages of the conversion to plastics. Kyron Max polymers offer mechanical properties that sometimes meet or exceed those of metals. The resulting component design can more easily replicate the original metal design, minimizing the mass of plastics required while realizing all of the engineering benefits of the plastic materials.

Some of the product features of the new Kyron Max series include: tensile strength that is higher than steel (greater than 100,000 psi) and weight that is early 75% lighter than steel and approximately 60% lighter than titanium.

"The Kyron Max technology is a game changer. Piper's expertise in fabricating components from both metals and plastics, combined with our proprietary polymer processing techniques, gives our customers an uncommon advantage," said Dave Wilkinson, materials engineering manager at Piper. "We understand factors critical to component design, the influence of reinforcements and additives, and the effects of processing and tool design. Knowing the complexities of plastics is essential to reliable replacement of metals."

The company told PlasticsToday that it is targeting the aerospace, automotive, industrial, oil and gas, alternative energy, medical, electronics, chemical and food processing industries. Potential applications include: nuts, bolts, gears, brackets, recreational product structures motor craft, bicycles, hunting, sporting goods, and complex structural parts (such as aircraft brackets, nuclear wire-routing supports, actuators)