Teklas, a Turkish supplier to the automotive industry, has been pushing the development of water-assisted injection molding technology for manufacturing hollow plastic parts. As a result, the company has begun producing the fluid-carrying tubes for automobiles using BASF’s Ultramid A3HG6 WIT in large volumes.
The glass-fiber-reinforced polyamide 66 grade was
developed by BASF, Ludwigshafen, Germany, for inside and outside surfaces as
well as for applications requiring high chemical resistance. The Teklas tubes
provide individual conveying paths for cooling water, air and oil in the engine
In addition to resistance to the fluid being conveyed, the
tubes have low pressure drop, which is a primary requirement in the engine
compartment. Therefore, the inside surfaces must be especially smooth.
For the parts to be economical, the wall thickness must
be uniform and as thin as possible. Just as the number of car models continues
to increase, so do the constraints within the engine compartment, so that maximum
design freedom and flexibility for the manufacturing process is essential when
it comes to developing very specific, integrated solutions. By using the latest
technology for injection molding, Teklas, based in Kocaeli, Turkey, is able to
manufacture a variety of tube shapes and combinations with different wall
thicknesses and great complexity. Use of plastic tubes in place of heavier
metal tubes results not only in weight savings, but also eliminates the need
for expensive metal-working equipment.
For post-molding tube processing, Teklas, which has its
production in Bulgaria, relies on a high level of automation. Robots handle the
numerous finishing steps such as cutting and sanding and the incorporation of
metal rings or elastomer seals, contributing to a low reject rate.
Injection Molding Gets Water Assist
January 18, 2012