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Injection Molding Gains an Edge in Motorcycle Gas Tanks

Complex shapes required for the latest motorcycle gas tanks favor injection over blow molding. Lanxess and BMW have a monolayer nylon solution.

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Lanxess nylon fuel tank for BMW Motorrad.

 

Due to the increasing number of functions in motorcycles, such as automatic stability control (ASC), the installation space for fuel tanks is becoming increasingly fragmented and complex. These geometries are no longer suitable for the blow molding process. That’s the conclusion of Lanxess, which has notched a success for a injection molded nylon 6 fuel tanks for the BMW Motorrad models F 900 R and F 900 XR “Adventure” bikes. The tanks are molded in two half-shells of Lanxess’ Durethan BC550Z 900116 DUSXBL unreinforced, impact-modified nyon 6. The half-shells are joined by hot-plate welding. The monolayer tanks are said to “comfortably” meet U.S. EPA limits on fuel permeation, and to be significantly less expensive than multilayer systems of HDPE with a barrier material such as EVOH and adhesive layers. According to Dr. Klaus Küsters, Lanxess business development manager for blow molding in the High Performance Materials business unit, “With the injection molding process, it is not only possible to produce more complex geometries, the wall-thickness distribution can also be precisely controlled, which in turn facilitates a more precise tank design using CAE tools.”

The new tanks are a joint development of Lanxess, BMW Motorrad and molder Röchling Automative Italia S.r.l.

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