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 compartment.

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.