DSM launches ForTii MX polyamides for die-cast metal replacement

DSM ForTii MX grades provide a cost-effective alternative for die-casting metals

Global materials supplier DSM is extending its range of ForTii high performance polyphthalamides based on polyamide 4T.

Following the introduction earlier this year of the ForTii Eco family of partly bio-based grades, it is now launching the ForTii MX grades to provide a more cost-effective alternative to die-casting metals.

Plastics have been gradually replacing metals in numerous applications for many years. But the potential for replacing die-cast metal part remains considerable. The market around die cast replacement is currently growing at close to 10% per year. DSM believes that the increasing availability of high performance materials like ForTii MX will ensure that high growth continues and possibly increases well into the future.

ForTii MX grades, which like all ForTii types from DSM are partially aromatic, semi crystalline polymers, and show better properties than existing PPA materials in terms of mechanical strength and toughness across a broad range of temperatures. Grades are available with glass fibre reinforcement ranging from 30 to 50%.

“ForTii MX grades will become essential solutions for metal replacement,” says Ralf Ponicki, programme manager for die cast replacement at DSM. “In terms of heat deflection temperature and toughness, they are considerably better than most other PPAs currently on the market. Injection mouldings in ForTii MX will be able to compete advantageously with parts die-cast in aluminum, magnesium and zinc.”

Injection moulding with high performance thermoplastics already provides a cost reduction over metal die-casting of typically 20 to 30%, but use of ForTii MX allows cost savings up to 50% DSM says.

Ponicki says: “ForTii MX exhibits a comprehensive property profile that some competitive solutions can only partially cover with using additional blend technology. Many pure PPA-based compounds retain their good mechanical strength and dimensional stability up to around 100°C, but in environments with temperatures above 130°C the mechanical strength drops severely.

“This effect sometimes is compensated by using blend technology, but sacrificing dimensional stability as well as mechanical strength up to 100°C. ForTii MX (PPA) combines the best of two worlds – best mechanical performance, especially impact strength, in combination with high dimensional stability at ambient elevated (100°C) and high temperatures with limited influence of moisture.”

Ponicki sees potential for ForTii MX in structurally loaded parts such as housings, covers and brackets in the automotive powertrain, air and fuel systems, chassis and suspension, as well as in industrial, pumps, valves, actuators, home appliances and fasteners.