WEB EXCLUSIVE: The first volume application of a new 50% glass-reinforced grade of nylon 6/6T copolymer is in replacing brass for the main valve of European fire extinguishers. The valve is molded by Multiplast Kunststoffverarbeitung in Moosbrunn, Austria, and is now used in most models of fire extinguishers by Tyco Fire Suppression & Building Products. This material is Ultramid T KR 4355 G10, a partly aromatic nylon from BASF Engineering Plastics (U.S. office in Wyandotte, Mich.). According to BASF, this application would not have been possible without the use of mold-filling simulation to determine the glass-fiber orientation—especially difficult in such a highly reinforced part. In order to simulate the valve’s behavior under static and dynamic loads, it was necessary to model the fiber orientation as a function of filling pressure and gate location. BASF used its own Ultrasim software, previously applied mainly to automotive structural plastics. With the aid of Ultrasim, the valve was designed as a single piece without metal inserts and with molded-in threads. The final product achieves much better properties than the original brass, including higher burst pressure.
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