As the plastics industry finds itself in the grip of a serious PA 6.6 shortage, plastics processors and brand owners are facing challenges to keep the manufacturing supply chain moving. Due to its very broad polymer portfolio, ALBIS is in a strong position to offer a variety of alternatives which could provide some relief. Tony Harrison (Director, Global TSAD), takes a look at the options which could be considered for drop-in solutions (existing tools / applications) or indeed, for new projects.
The information below provides a general overview on which polymers could be considered as potential alternatives to PA 6.6. However, understanding the detailed requirements of each application is key when thinking about which material to choose. Your regional TSAD engineer will be happy to advise you on your specific application requirements and find a solution together
1. PA 6
The nearest alternative to PA 6.6 is its “twin”, PA 6. Whilst there are some important differences between the two polymers, there are many similarities which make PA 6 the first option to consider.
Product brands available from ALBIS: Durethan® B, Ultramid® B, ALTECH® PA 6
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Renowned for its excellent electrical properties, PBT could be considered in E&E and under the hood applications – also in applications where flame retardancy is a main requirement. Due to its higher tensile modulus (stiffness), reinforced grades of PBT with about 10% less glass fibre would have a similar modulus to their PA 6.6 equivalents. The difference in shrinkage levels would also need to be considered for existing tools. Long term contact with hot water is also another limitation of PBT compared to PA 6.6.
Product brands available from ALBIS: Pocan®, Ultradur®
3. Recycled PA 6.6
As a specialist in recycled content compounds and with a wide portfolio of PA 6.6 products to offer, ALBIS is in a good position to supply products from its ALTECH® ECO range. These products come with a full technical specification at near to prime quality. Due to feed stocks used, it isn’t possible to achieve consistent natural or light colours however.
Product brands available from ALBIS: ALTECH® ECO PA 6.6
4. (Recycled) Carbon Fibre Reinforced PP and PA 6
ALBIS’ newly acquired WIPAG business offers compound solutions based on recycled carbon fibre reinforced PA and PP. The beauty of these products is that they offer the same mechanical performance as traditional engineering compounds, whilst delivering an overall lower part cost! Due to the fact that carbon fibre is much less dense than glass fibre, coupled with the fact that lower quantities of carbon fibre are needed to achieve the same reinforcing properties, compounds with the same mechanical properties but with up to 30% lower density than their glass fibre counterparts can be achieved. This also means a huge reduction in weight. And because recycled carbon fibre is used, highly competitive carbon fibre reinforced compounds based on PP and PA 6 are now possible. Lower density = lightweight and lower volume cost = lower part cost!
Product brands available from ALBIS: WIPAG WIC PA + rCF and WIPAG WIC PP + rCF
High temperature, aromatic nylon is also a candidate where high and / or long term temperature resistance, low moisture absorption and high dimensional stability are the drivers behind the application. Available in glass fibre and mineral filled grades, as well as flame retardant and increased hydrolysis resistant types, PPA could be used in E&E and under the hood applications.
Product brands available from ALBIS: Amodel®, Ultramid® Advanced N (long chain PPA)
6. PA 6.10
Renowned for its very low moisture absorption and dimensional stability, PA 6.10 also offers similar mechanical performance to its PA 6.6 cousin. Available in reinforced and unreinforced grades, PA 6.10 could be an option for high temperature under the hood applications. It’s also based largely on sustainable (naturally occurring) feed stock!
Product brands available from ALBIS: Ultramid® S, Ultramid® Balance
With its outstanding chemical resistance, extremely low moisture uptake, inherent flame retardancy, coupled with its high stiffness and extremely high temperature resistance, PPS is a highly suitable alternative to PA 6.6 in under the hood, hydrolysis resistant and E&E applications.
Product brands available from ALBIS: Tedur®, Torelina®
To discuss your specific application requirements and review possible solutions from ALBIS, please get in touch with your local TSAD engineer.
Tip: why not try out our new Product Search tool on our website! https://www.albis.com/en/products/product-search/
Any information given on the chemical and physical characteristics of our products, including, without limitation, technical advice on applications, whether verbally, in writing or by testing the product, is given to the best of our knowledge and in good faith and does not exempt the buyer from carrying out their own investigations and tests in order to ascertain the product's specific suitability for the purpose intended. The buyer is solely responsible for confirming the suitability of the product for a particular application, its utilization and processing and must observe any applicable laws and government regulations. NO EXPRESS OR IMPLIED RECOMMENDATION OR WARRANTY IS GIVEN WITH REGARD TO THE SUITABILITY OF THE PRODUCT FOR A PARTICULAR APPLICATION, SUCH AS, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, SAFETY-CRITICAL COMPONENTS OR SYSTEMS.
Director Technical Service & Application Development (TSAD)