Good durability and tensile strength, high impact, chemical and fire resistance … what sounds like a description of a Marvel superhero is actually a list of requirements for engineering plastics. In some industries, like construction, automotive and industrial applications, plastics are exposed to aggressive chemicals and demanding environments, along with challenging mechanical and thermal requirements. For these use cases, polyamide compounds are the right choice. Some of the polyamide compounds, like the partially aromatic high-performance polyamides, also known as polyphthalamides (PPA), reach heat distortion temperatures of up to 280°C. Using a combination of reinforcing agents, fillers, flame retardants and other additives, polyamide compounds can be highly customized for a broad range of applications. Compounding powerful plastics like polyamides ultimately brings a long list of intricate requirements:
- Specific energy inputs need to be as gentle as possible.
- Large amounts of fillers and flame retardants have to be perfectly distributed.
- Reinforcement fibres must be added so as to optimize mechanical properties.
- All the while, high dwell times in the respective process zones must be maintained.