Bemis Manufacturing Company, a leading global manufacturer of plastic products, has teamed with Solvay Advanced Polymers and selected its high-performance Ixef(R) polyarylamide for use in Bemis' co-injection molding process.
Bemis' strategy for the rigid, highly aesthetic polymer is aimed at replacing a range of die-cast metal parts used in kitchen and bath appliances, lawn and garden products, furniture and other consumer applications. Ixef resin is uniquely suited for the proprietary production process because of its aesthetic surface qualities that enable a molded-in-color, "better-than-metal" surface that eliminates the need for painting while delivering the structural strength necessary for a durable finished product.
"We can now bring an exceptional value to our customers by delivering lower assembly and production costs, lighter-weight product and reduced shipping expense and an aesthetically more pleasing and better performing product," explained Steve Kolste, Director, Market & Business Development for Bemis Mfg. "We constantly strive to bring enhanced value to our customers and look to partners with the materials and technical know-how to help us deliver on that promise."
Co-injection molding is a process of introducing multiple melts, one after the other, into one mold during the injection molding process. The melts should make contact with each other but do not flow into one another. The resultant composite may be permanent or it may be possible to separate them for recycling purposes. The result is a finished part with exceptional strength, stiffness and above all, a high gloss surface that traditionally could only be achieved in a painted metal.
Bemis Manufacturing and Solvay Advanced Polymers started the project last summer and have identified a range of industries and products that will benefit from the co-injected product. Those markets and products include kitchen appliances, lawn and garden outdoor products, furniture, automotive, marine and other applications that require durability and strength to hold up to weather and harsh environments while still delivering high aesthetic value. Commercial trials for product evaluation are taking place now.
"We pride ourselves on delivering more plastics with more performance than any other polymer supplier," explained Chris Scarazzo, Senior Business Development Manager for Solvay Advanced Polymers. "The use of Ixef, with its inherent strength and surface finish, coupled with Bemis' co-injection molding process, provides engineers with new and cost-effective solutions. This combination helps customers drive out costs by eliminating secondary processing such as machining and commercial painting. In addition, engineers can now specify shapes and finishes that we're previously unachievable with traditional materials and production methods."