Bioplastic, Press Release, Products

Solvay launches high-performance bio-based polyamides in electronics

Solvay Specialty Polymers has expanded its Kalix® high-performance polyamide (HPPA) product line, with a new portfolio of bio-based high-performance polyamides offered for use in smart mobile devices such as smart phones, tablets, laptops, and other smart mobile electronics.

The introduction includes the Kalix® HPPA 3000 series, the first bio-based amorphous polyphthalamides (PPAs), and the Kalix® 2000 series, a family of bio-sourced semi-crystalline polyamide grades that provide outstanding impact performance.

The Kalix® 3000 series is reportedly the industry’s first bio-based amorphous PPA which delivers exceptional processability. The two new grades – Kalix® 3850 and Kalix® 3950 – provide less warp, reduced shrinkage, and low to no flash.

One of the key raw materials for the Kalix® 3000 series is a renewably sourced material supplied by sister company Solvay Novecare, a specialty supplier of surfactants, polymers, amines, solvents, guar, and phosphorus derivatives.

Under the development work, Solvay utilized the specialized resources of its R&D teams in India, Belgium, China, and the U.S. while also taking advantage of new Solvay raw materials captively available since the Rhodia acquisition in 2012.

The new Kalix® 2000 series of semi-crystalline materials, based on PA 6,10, consists of Kalix® 2855 and Kalix® 2955. They provide strong mechanical properties, high impact, exceptional surface finish, and low moisture absorption.

Both the Kalix® 2000 and 3000 series compounds offer manufacturers more sustainable options while providing the exceptional physical attributes and processing capabilities that are required in demanding structural applications such as injection molded chassis, housings, and covers.

Both the 2000 and 3000 series contain monomers that come from the sebacic acid chain which is derived from non-food competing and GMO-free castor oil. Overall, in addition to their renewable content, the grades introduced today (between 50-55% glass fiber loading) provide greater strength and stiffness than most competing glass-reinforced materials including high-performance polyamides and lower-performing engineering plastics such as polycarbonate.

The new bio-based grades are expected to penetrate a greater share of smart mobile device applications due to their easier processability, according to Solvay. The new materials are available globally and Solvay intends to primarily manufacture in the region of sale. The company expects most production to be conducted at its Changshu, China, facility since Asia is the primary manufacturing center for smart mobile devices.

Both Kalix® 2955 and 3950 have been qualified and specified by OEMs for use in smart mobile devices. Solvay said it is already developing next-generation bio-based products with enhanced flow, better mechanical performance, and higher renewable content for constantly redesigned and innovative smart mobile devices.

About Doris de Guzman

Will Green Chemistry save the world or is it hype? Doris de Guzman examines alternative processing, new technology, R&D and other sustainability initiatives aimed at preventing pollution; replacing ingredients; and using renewable feedstocks in Green Chemistry. She has been covering the oleochemicals market for 15 years and spread her beat to inorganics, biofuels and green chemistry.

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