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Clariant Supplies Toughened Nylon 66 with Low-Temp Impact Strength and Superior Surface

  • Clariant helps designers find a problem-solving material
  • Specialty compound for power distribution box on trucks and buses
  • Minimizes ‘swirling’ appearance typical of impact-modified nylon 66

Muttenz, March 26, 2014 - Clariant, a world leader in Specialty Chemicals, today announced it is supplying a special Nylon 66 compound for a molded power distribution box manufactured by GEP Power Products, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA. The company supplies standard and custom electrical components to some of the world’s leading manufacturers of trucks, buses and off-road vehicles. Brands like FreightLiner, Thomas, John Deere and International rely on GEP for cost effective products and custom engineered solutions that perform in harsh environments that are typical of transportation and outdoor power applications. When they needed a plastic material with superior low-temperature impact resistance and durability, good dimensional stability and uniform surface finish, they turned to Clariant Specialty Compounding.

"We were trying to develop an enclosure to protect an electrical fuse block," explains Jacek "Jack" Korczynski, GEP’s Vice President – Design Development. "Because this device is normally installed on the underside of large commercial vehicles, it can be subject to terrible abuse in extreme heat and cold. We test these boxes by freezing them to -40°C and firing 3/4-inch rocks and gravel at them, so we knew we needed a really tough plastic and asked Clariant for their recommendation."

"The problem with most toughened nylons," says Robert Wick, Clariant Specialty Compounding Product Manager, "is that they tend to develop a swirled or mottled surface during the injection-molding process as a side-effect of the impact modifying additives. This would be unacceptable to GEP and so we suggested RENOL® 6608LLT, an impact-modified nylon 66 that is formulated to minimize that effect."

Initial samples were a bit too flexible, Korczynski recalls, but this was overcome with some minor design changes that added stiffness and, today, after 18 months on the market, the GEP power-distribution box is meeting all performance expectations – even in off-road service on the frozen North Slope of Alaska.

GEP grew out of Precision Cable Assemblies, which started in business some 30 years ago, producing wire and cable for the automotive and truck industry. GEP was formed about 8 years ago to make and market other electrical products like the power-distribution box. "We cater to the mid-market," explains Rich Horky, President. "We’re structured to deliver the customization and rapid-product development that larger competitors can’t provide. Our customers expect us to be innovative and responsive and we appreciate suppliers, like Clariant, that exhibit those same qualities."

Clariant Masterbatches’ specialty compounding business is structured to formulate and compound a wide-range of engineering grade thermoplastic resins, reinforcements and additives, in a wide variety of colors, to meet demanding application requirements for companies like GEP Power Products. Clariant specialty compounding experts draw on decades of experience with resins, colorants and additives to deliver an ideal solution, whether it is a standard product or a custom compound formulated to meet unique application requirements.


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