Automotive plastics processor Miniature Precision Components (MPC), Walworth, Wis., chose Akulon Ultraflow glass and mineral reinforced nylon 6 from DSM Engineering Plastics, Birmingham, Mich., to produce the engine covers for a new hybrid electric vehicle. Says MPC’s director of product engineering Mike Cuneo, “For the new engine covers, MPC is operating with a significant reduction in cycle time and material density advantages. The parts meet tight profile tolerances and stringent appearance requirements.”
MPC’s mold-filling simulation studies showed that Akulon Ultraflow K-FHGM24, a nylon 6 with 10% glass fiber and 20% mineral filler specifically developed by DSM for this type of application, would product parts with significantly lower warp than other glass-reinforced, mineral-filled nylons. Computer simulations predicting Akulon would demonstrate improved dimensional stability proved to be accurate in the initial molding trials. MPC and DSM approached the OEM together to obtain approval for the material, which was swiftly granted.
The high dimensional stability of this material is said to eliminate the need for large flat parts like engine covers to be put into special cooling fixtures after they have been molded to stop them distorting—saving costs and freeing up manufacturing space. Akulon Ultraflow nylon 6 boasts up to 80% improved flow and cycle-time reductions from 15% to 40%.