DSM Engineering Plastic Supports Innovative Design: Ashland Provides Akulon Ultraflow for All-Plastic Viking Ice Skates
Weight reduction was a key driver for Viking, one of the world’s leading producers of ice skates. The latest generation of Viking ice skates is now
completely made in plastic – except for the metal blade. Supported by DSM’s technical expertise and its Design Centre, a representative from Ashland, a leading distributor for the plastics processing industry, selected 60% glass filled Akulon® Ultraflow™ K-FG12 BLK, for the various parts of the new skates.
For this ice skate application Ashland’s representative worked together with a main customer, GSF Kunststoffen, a leading company with broad experience in the design and production of filter elements for the most diverse of applications. Fred Schrijnders, Manager Operations for GSF Kunststoffen, says: “Akulon Ultraflow enabled us to meet the needs of our customer, Viking, in terms of weight reduction, high stiffness and good surface appearance.” Akulon Ultraflow PA6 is an innovative material that offers a range of additional benefits and value added performance, compared to standard PA6 and PA66. With Akulon Ultraflow, producers are able to reduce injection molding cycles by approximately 20% with significantly lower processing temperatures. An additional benefit is that parts can be colored more easily during injection molding.
Akulon Ultraflow provides a much better surface appearance, even for 50-60% GF grades and is more cost effective than PPA, although it provides similar performance and surface appearance. Moreover, the materials superior flow properties, and the easier filling of complex parts, allows manufacturers greater design freedom and provides an opportunity for weight reduction, compared to traditional metal components.
In addition, systems costs can be reduced as a result of lower tool costs, longer tool production lifetimes and/or fewer assembly steps needed compared with various metals. For instance, there is less corrosion and no need for surface protection.
Importantly, the plastic material is environmentally friendly because it requires only 10% of the energy consumption used by aluminum. Lower weight means easier handling and lower shipment costs as well as lower fuel consumption and therefore reduced CO2 emissions during transportation.
This underlines DSM’s commitment to products with lower environmental impact and this is fully in line with DSM’s mission to ‘create brighter lives for people today and generations to come’. This mission is supported by DSM’s core value, which states that its activities should contribute to a more sustainable world.
Ashland Distribution is a leading plastics and chemicals distributor in North America. A commercial unit of Ashland Inc., it distributes chemicals, plastics and composite raw materials in North America, as well as plastics in Europe and China. Ashland Distribution also provides environmental services in North America, including hazardous and nonhazardous waste collection, recovery, recycling and disposal services.
DSM Engineering Plastics
DSM Engineering Plastics is one of the world’s leading suppliers of quality engineering thermoplastics providing customer value through sustainable solutions that reflect the DSM People, Planet and Profit strategy. DSM Engineering Plastics delivers innovative opportunities for customers who design or produce electrical applications, electronic equipment, cars, barrier packaging films as well as many mechanical and extrusion applications. These markets are served with a broad portfolio of high performance materials including Akulon® and Novamid® 6 and 66 polyamides, Arnitel® TPC, Arnite® PBT and PET polyesters, Yparex® extrudable adhesive resins, and Stanyl® high heat 46 polyamides. Most recently, DSM Engineering Plastics has introduced the first new polymer of the 21st century: Stanyl® ForTii™ and has expanded her portfolio with two bio-based, high performance engineering plastics, EcoPaXX™ and Arnitel Eco. DSM Engineering Plastics had sales in 2009 of EUR 648 million and employs some 1600 people worldwide More on: www.dsmep.com.
DSM – the Life Sciences and Materials Sciences Company
Royal DSM N.V. creates solutions that nourish, protect and improve performance. Its end markets include human and animal nutrition and health, personal care, pharmaceuticals, automotive, coatings and paint, electrical and electronics, life protection and housing. DSM manages its business with a focus on the triple bottom line of economic prosperity, environmental quality and social equity, which it pursues simultaneously and in parallel. DSM has annual net sales of about € 8 billion and employs some 22,700 people worldwide. The company is headquartered in the Netherlands, with locations on five continents. DSM is listed on Euronext Amsterdam. More information: www.dsm.com.
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