Long Fiber Reinforced Nylon Composite Replaces Aluminum Motor Housing
Avient’s Complēt LFT thermoplastic composite chosen by food processing equipment maker Bettcher to replace the cast aluminum support yoke of its Quantum Motor.
A recent collaboration between Avient Corp., Avon Lake, Ohio, and manufacturer of food processing equipment Bettcher Industries, Birmingham, Ohio, resulted Bettcher converting the support yoke of its Quantum Motor from metal to a long glass fiber thermoplastic (LFT).
Targeting an alternative to cast aluminum, Avient and Bettcher teams aimed to re-engineer the yoke, which supports a 25-lb motor that powers a variety of meat trimming tools. The challenge was to deliver a lighter, polymeric replacement that would lower overall finished part costs yet retain reliable performance in rigorous-use environments. Specifically, the material needed to handle constant weight loads and high vibration, and withstand corrosive chemicals.
Avient identified its Complēt long glass fiber reinforced nylon composite as the right material to deliver the required strength and enhanced performance. Nearly 40% lighter than the cast aluminum it would replace, the long fiber thermoplastic (LFT) also added the benefit of injection molding for faster, single-step production to drive down costs.
Noted Eric Wollan, general manager of PlastiComp at Avient. “Opportunities for metal replacement are all around us. This project is an excellent example of how the strength and toughness of Complēt long fiber composites offer a light weight solution and an exceptional substitute for metals across many industries. With our material science and design expertise, we assist our customers in navigating the material-change journey so that they can achieve greater efficiencies and performance.”
Avient conducted virtual prototyping, such as mold filling and finite element analysis (FEA), on a redesigned yoke, while Bettcher conducted testing on a physical prototype to simulate a half million use cycles. Backed by these results, Avient formulated a pre-colored, LFT to match Bettcher’s existing product palette. This eliminated secondary painting and finishing, offering further cost savings.
Saisd Bettcher senior engineering manager Joel Hall, “We are grateful for Avient’s proactive approach. Because of the collaborative engineering with Avient, we were able to confidently transition to the long-fiber technology and ultimately deliver a high-end, innovative product to our customers.”
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