WEB EXCLUSIVE: BASF AG in Germany (U.S. office in Wyandotte, Mich.) reports two new additions to its recently launched Ultramid B High Speed nylon 6, as well as improved computer simulation to take better advantage of its weight-saving potential.

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WEB EXCLUSIVE: BASF AG in Germany (U.S. office in Wyandotte, Mich.) reports two new additions to its recently launched Ultramid B High Speed nylon 6, as well as improved computer simulation to take better advantage of its weight-saving potential. At K 2010, BASF introduced the first grade of this material, which is said to flow at least 50% farther than standard nylon 6. To the initial 30%-glass grade (Ultramid B3WG6), BASF has now added versions with 40% glass (B3WG8) and with both glass fibers and glass spheres (B3GK24), the latter for very low warpage.

Extensive simulation studies reportedly show that Ultramid B High Speed allow weight savings of up to 25% because their higher flow permits thinner walls. However, achieving these benefits requires improved simulation techniques, according to BASF. Current methods require separate simulations of mold filling and mechanical performance to be performed in sequence, which makes the process time-consuming and frequently results in overly heavy part designs that fail to realize the full potential for weight savings. Consequently, BASF upgraded its proprietary Ultrasim software so that it can optimize both part filling and mechanical properties on the same computer at the same time. Possible applications for the new materials include automotive pedals, brackets, and other load-bearing components.