Glass Fiber Reinforced Polyamide Alternative to Halogenated Polymers

A new 25% glass fiber-reinforced polyamide 6 compound provides injection molders with an alternative to halogenated flame retardant (FR) formulations while meeting stringent requirements for flame retardance, it was announced today by Chem Polymer, a unit of Teknor Apex Company.

Chemlon 225 GVNH has a UL 94 flammability listing of V0 at thicknesses down to 0.8 mm. Its comparative tracking index of 600 V is more than double that of a comparable compound with a halogenated (typically brominated) FR formulation, providing superior electrical performance in automotive, residential, and appliance applications such as housings with snap-fit assembly, circuit breakers, charger covers, and safety switches. The new compound is also 14% less dense, yielding lighter parts.

Although the Chemlon product is currently UL-recognized only in black formulations, its FR formulation is expected to provide a broader range of colorability than brominated FR systems and non-halogenated ones based on red phosphorus, according to Richard Barnes, technical manager. Typically these permit only dark colors.

"Because non-halogenated FR systems have been more difficult to incorporate into glass-filled compounds than brominated ones, relatively few non-halogenated polyamides have been available, particularly in North America," said Barnes. "Our new Chemlon compound will provide a higher-performance alternative for molders seeking to serve the world market for components requiring flame retardancy."

Chemlon 225 GVNH is already in commercial use for the housing of an air filter used in a vehicle engine compartment (see photo).

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