The performance and benefits of plastics continues to close the gap compared to their metal counterparts. A metal replacement from Piper Plastics called Kyron Max allows parts to be injection molded at a high volume with parts that can rival composites and metals. In their article, Plastics Today talks about how even the strongest moldable plastics cannot match the strength of metals so the metal part geometry must be altered and re-engineered to utilize plastic materials for metal replacement. This often involves adding much more material volume of the plastic which can compromise the weight savings and cost reduction advantages of the conversion to plastics.
Kryon Max hopes to change some conventions with some of the test results showing tensile strength that is higher than steel (greater than 100,000 psi) and weight that is early 75% lighter than steel and approximately 60% lighter than titanium. At the request of aerospace OEMs Piper was able to develop a bolt that gave significant weight savings yet still met the mechanical requirements.
Replacing metals with higher performing plastics is a trend that continues to grow. There are many well understood reasons for replacing metal with a polymer in an existing application. design freedom, the elimination of many secondary operations, and manufacturing efficiency are all factors. Recently, weight reduction, a criterion that has always been critical to the aerospace industry, has also become a focus for the automotive industry where the volume of material consumed and the opportunities for growth are much greater. This has brought a new focus to the consideration of polymers for applications that were previously the province of metals.
Are you currently looking to replace metal in your designs? Prospector has a free and informative webinar about Selecting the Right Material for Metal Replacement presented by material expert Michael Sepe, please check it out!
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