BASF?s New PPA Fills Gap Between PEEK and Engineering Plastics for Semi-Finished Parts

A new polyphthalamide (PPA) introduced by BASF, Ultramid Advanced N5H UN, is being used by a plastic processor to produce 50-mm-diameter stock shapes. Based in Mannheim, Germany, Gehr is the first company to successfully extrude PPA.

Ultramid Advanced N5H withstands continuous operating temperatures well above 120oC, according to BASF. Image courtesy BASF.

According to BASF, Ultramid Advanced N5H offers excellent mechanical properties at elevated temperatures because of its semi-aromatic chemical structure; is chemical- and hydrolysis-resistant, even in aggressive environments; and features good lubricity ??all at temperatures above 100oC. Due to its low water uptake, its mechanical properties remain stable over a wide temperature range. Even in humid environments, the long-chain, high-performance material shows a dimensional stability that belongs to the highest of all polyamides, added BASF.

?Gehr is the first company to successfully use a PPA for extrusion,? said Philipp Wenz, Group Head of Sales, BASF Performance Materials. ?With its expertise in extrusion, Gehr has developed stock shapes that can be produced without any voids.

?We can?t say for certain whether it?s the world?s first semi-finished part made from polyphthalamide. The high-performance material has not yet played an important role in the market for semi-finished parts? due to the fact that PPA cannot be extruded very well, Wenz added.

Ultramid Advanced N5H closes the gap in the market between semi-finished parts made of polyetheretherketones (PEEK) and polyarylsulfones (PAS) and those made from engineering plastics, explained BASF. Compared with the latter, it can be used at continuous operating temperatures well above 120oC. The BASF material is also suitable for profiles other than rods.

Bernhard Grosskinsky, Head of Application Technology at Gehr, commented: ?BAFS?s PPA is far easier to process compared with other PPAs on the market. It gives us a wide processing window and at the same time offers high melt stability. The quality of the material always remains the same so that we can maintain stable production of our semi-finished parts. Another advantage of BASF?s PPA is it is easy to produce finished components from the semi-finished products through post-processing.?

Gehr has used the new Ultramid Advanced N5H in a range of applications, including components with very high operating temperatures, pump parts requiring exact dimensional stability, gear wheels, thermostat housings, and sliding rails. In the automotive industry the material is suitable for components that come into contact with motor and transmission oils, coolants, acids, salts, and de-icing fluids.

» Publication Date: 27/06/2020

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This project has received funding from the Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement Nº 745828