Arkema, King of Prussia, Penn., and Italy’s specialty compounder Xenia Materials are in a cooperative agreement to develop carbon fiber reinforced long-chain nylons, starting with the well-known Pebax thermoplastic elastomer, a polyether-block-amide (PEBA) TPE.
Xenia has developed unique expertise in compounding carbon fibers with thermoplastics, and this aligns well with the development strategy of Arkema’s Technical Polymers group. Newly-developed Pebax grades are expects to have higher rigidity while maintaining the recognized features of Pebax TPE, including enduring elasticity and impact resistance even at extremely low temperatures, and outstanding injection molding processability.
According to Fabien Debaud, Arkema’s global R&D director for the specialty polyamides unit, the new product portfolio will focus on sports, optical, and consumer electronics; three dynamic, fast-growing markets where lightness is a major innovation trend and where Pebax is an established high-performance TPE. In the future, Arkema will apply the technology to its other high-performance polymers such as Rilsan nylon 11 and Rilsamid nylon 12, used in automotive and industrial markets.
Likewise, Xenia will develop and market its own product portfolio based on Arkema’s polymers in markets and application where the company is already active and recognized, according to company CEO Fabio Azzolin.
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