An innovative polyamide (PA) 6 technology developed by DSM Engineering Plastics forms the basis of a new solution for rotomolding monolayer tanks developed by ICO Polymers (Houston, TX), a leading producer of rotational molding grades.
The monolayer PA 6 solution, named Icorene 7620 Fuel Lock, was developed for small engine tanks for off-road vehicles to comply with the latest legislation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Air Resources Board (CARB), which was introduced to minimize emissions from fuel evaporation. The new monolayer PA 6 solution is based on Akulon Fuel Lock PA 6 from DSM, originally designed for injection- and blowmolded fuel tanks that are used for engines in hand-held and ground-supported lawn and garden equipment, as well as recreational, professional landscaping, and marine applications.
Icorene 7620 Fuel Lock eliminates the need for after-treatment procedures such as the environmentally challenging fluorination process. Moreover, this monolayer solution obviates the need for complex multilayer concepts, delivering improved equipment efficiency and productivity—and therefore lower energy consumption during processing. In use, the monolayer solution ensures a durable barrier performance over the required liability period of five years, and this does not diminish over time.
The easy-to-process toughened polyamide PA6-based monolayer rotomolding solution was designed specifically for the production of small engine tanks for off-road vehicles. Its development was made possible by combining ICO Polymers’ expertise in rotational molding, particle size reduction and processing—and DSM’s expertise in high-performance engineering materials.
Heinrich Lingnau BU manager of specialty powders at ICO Polymers for EMEA region, said:”PA 6 will surely establish a position in the rotational molding market because of its combination of high strength, modulus, and relative high melt temperature.” Tim Vorage, application development manager at DSM, stated: “Our newly developed cost-effective Akulon Fuel Lock for the rotomolding market is the outcome of an intense cooperation with the research department of ICO Polymers. The material not only shows a permeation factor of below 20% of the EPA limit, but it also exhibits high toughness at low temperatures.”
Besides EPA compliant tanks, Icorene 7620 Fuel Lock can be used in any applications that require low fuel permeation, low-temperature impact performance, and UV stability.