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Materials News

Bio-content in new copolymers
Sabic Innovative Plastics has launched copolymer resins with 5% bio-content featuring high melt flow, toughness and ductility.

The Lexan HFD copolymers open doors to new design options, especially in key application areas where thinwall parts, complex geometries and high-impact products that can withstand very low temperatures with no compromise on clarity are required.

Based on proprietary polymer chemistry, Lexan HFD copolymer resins are part of an expanding portfolio of six specially engineered copolymer materials.

This new polymer chemistry combines two different monomers and to support its goals of creating sustainable material solutions, up to 5% bio content has been incorporated.

The resins are available in five grades, with or without UV stabilisers. Additionally, the company is developing glass-filled grades with and without flame retardancy, food contact grades, blends incorporating other Sabic resins and super high flow grades.

Lexan HFD copolymer resins are engineered to provide up to 40% higher flow at the molecular weight than standard Lexan resin, thereby preserving desirable mechanical properties. Higher flow helps customers create thinner walled parts such as appliance and device housings without the risk of cracking upon removal from the mould. It also reduces moulded-in stress to avoid birefringence (rainbow effect) in optical applications such as camera lens housings, and to enable designs with sharp notches and corners without fear of breakage. High flow also permits faster processing speeds for higher productivity.

From an aesthetic standpoint, higher flow solves the issues often experienced with glass-filled materials as the copolymers flow around and hide the fibres, producing surface gloss that is 30-40% higher compared to a standard glass-filled PC.

At the same time, the materials provide high ductility at colder temperatures (down to -40°C) compared to standard PC, which can become brittle. Clarity is also maintained at these temperatures. These attributes make Lexan HFD copolymer resins ideal for military eyewear, windscreens and face shields.

The resins process at a temperature about 20 degrees lower than standard PC with the same ductility. This property allows heat-sensitive additives to be used without impacting their performance. In addition, the lower temperature processing brings advantages to in-mould decoration and two-shot overmoulding.
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