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Innovation from iwis at Motion, Drive & Automation

Low-wear, low-energy polymer conveyor chains made of low-friction DuPont™ Delrin®

iwis antriebssysteme GmbH & Co.KG (Hall 25, Stand B26) will launch its new FLEXON® hinged-slat chains and MatTop chains made of DuPont™ Delrin® acetal resin at Motion, Drive & Automation (Hanover, Germany, 20-24 April 2009).

Photo: iwis
Iwis has extended its comprehensive range of high-performance roller and conveyor chains to include FLEXON® hinged-slat chains and MatTop chains made of DuPont™ Delrin® acetal resin. The chains provide energy-efficient performance due to their low weight and the low friction behavior of the material. Moreover, the very good wear resistance and sliding properties of Delrin® enable virtually contaminant-free operation without the use of lubricants, making the new chains highly suitable for applications in the food and pharamceutical industries.

The polymer chains are the Munich-based company’s response to market requirements for materials handling systems which can help prevent contamination, as well as being energy efficient and easy to maintain. FDA-approved Delrin®, the material grade selected for production of the chains, contributes significantly to these performance benefits, combining high mechanical load capacity, dimensional stability (also in humid environments) and excellent sliding behavior.

According to requirements, chain links produced using two-component injection molding are available, whereby the strap made of Delrin® is overmolded with a non-slip, soft component made of a high-performance thermoplastic elastomer (TPE).

The new FLEXON® polymer chain components made of Delrin® are up to 80 percent quieter in operation than their metal equivalents. Moreover, they are up to 40 percent lighter, meaning either a reduction in the required drive input or an increase in conveying output. The new polymer chains excel in terms of their low friction and remarkable wear resistance. As a result, they can reach extended operational times without lubrication, facilitating their use in the food, beverage and packaging industries where strict hygiene requirements apply.

“We developed the new polymer chains in close cooperation with experts from DuPont, especially in regard to material selection and part design,” comments Dr.-Ing. Frank Mitzschke, product manager in the design and development department of iwis in Munich. “As a consequence of using Delrin®, we are now able to offer many of our customers an attractive alternative to metal chains. In addition, the polymer versions provide significant benefits in terms of lower production costs and the possibility to provide a swift response to customer-specific requirements, all thanks to the design freedom commonly associated with polymers. The first applications of the new FLEXON® hinged-slat chains and MatTop chains have already been successfully installed.”

The new additions to its portfolio complete the range of drive and materials handling products available from the Munich-based manufacturer of precision chain systems. In addition to its roller and conveyor chains made of steel, the FLEXON® MatTop chains (in both metric and imperial widths) and the straight or curved hinged-slat chains are available as polymer or stainless steel versions, thereby providing a solution regardless of piece good handling requirements.

Typical applications for the new polymer models include the transportation of glass and plastic bottles, cans, crates, barrels and casks in drink bottling and packaging plants, the transportation of foodstuffs and, in general, the handling of small to medium-sized products. The high corrosion resistance of Delrin® permits the use of highly-effective cleaning agents, which would otherwise be impossible with metal chains or would require a high degree of maintenance.

“Drawing from our comprehensive range of high-performance polymers, we have been able to work with iwis in developing and achieving a tailored solution,” explains Dipl.-Ing. Karsten Faust, account manager at DuPont Deutschland. “And we will continue to provide our customers with innovative materials which will allow them to create new opportunities within the materials handling sector. Indeed, there are already projects underway, with Delrin® or Zytel® nylon as a base material, which are looking at using tailored reinforcing fibers and lubricants to extend the benefits of polymer conveyor chains to applications with considerably higher mechanical loads.”

Delrin® acetal resins tailored for specific applications
A common denominator amongst all Delrin® acetal resins is their excellent tribological properties in terms of their low wear/low friction behavior. In addition, some grades of the DuPont polymer have been tailored for specific applications.

• Delrin® 511P is a medium viscosity unreinforced acetal homopolymer and is seen as a standard grade for polymer conveyor chains.

• Delrin® 500AL is a medium viscosity acetal homopolymer, with an advanced system of lubrication for applications requiring low wear and/or coefficient of friction.

• Delrin® 500TL is a medium viscosity acetal homopolymer resin containing Teflon® PTFE micropowder, designed for applications requiring moderate low wear and friction against steel, itself, or other plastics.

• Delrin® 100KM is a high viscosity acetal homopolymer resin modified with Kevlar® aramid resin, designed for applications requiring low wear in abrasive environments.

The wide range of applications for low wear/low friction Delrin® acetal resins includes materials handling technology, drive components such as gears, automotive components, closure and dosage systems in packaging and cosmetics and functional parts in winter sporting goods.

The iwis Gruppe, with headquarters in Munich, belongs to the leading suppliers of precision-made chain systems for drive technology materials handling. It comprises three business areas: iwis Motorsysteme GmbH & Co KG produces timing drives for engines supplied to the automotive industry. iwis Antriebssysteme GmbH & Co KG manufactures precision roller and conveyor chains for industrial applications in the machinery and plant building, packaging, printing and food industries, materials handling, amongst others. iwis Antriebssysteme GmbH in Wilnsdorf, formerly FLEXON GmbH, supplies roller-chains, agricultural chains, specialist chains and leaf chains, sprockets and drive accessories. A family-owned company, founded in 1916, iwis employs approximately 1,100 people at its three production sites in Munich, Strakonice (Czech Republic) and Landsberg am Lech. With subsidiaries in England and Switzerland, as well as offices in France, the US, Brazil and China, the iwis Group supplies customers and partners in more than 45 countries.

The DuPont Engineering Polymers business manufactures and sells Crastin® PBT and Rynite® PET thermoplastic polyester resins, Delrin® acetal resins, Hytrel® thermoplastic polyester elastomers, DuPont™ ETPV engineering thermoplastic vulcanizates, Minlon® mineral reinforced nylon resins, Thermx® PCT polycyclohexylene dimethyl terephthalate, Tynex® filaments, Vespel® parts and shapes, Zenite® LCP liquid crystal polymers, Zytel® nylon resins and Zytel® HTN high-performance polyamides. These products serve global markets in the aerospace, appliance, automotive, consumer, electrical, electronic, healthcare, industrial, sporting goods and many other diversified industries.

DuPont is a science-based products and services company. Founded in 1802, DuPont puts science to work by creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, healthier life for people everywhere. Operating in more than 70 countries, DuPont offers a wide range of innovative products and services for markets including agriculture and food; building and construction; communications; and transportation.

The DuPont Oval Logo, The miracles of science™ , DuPont™, Delrin® and Zytel® are registered trademarks or trademarks of E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company or its affiliates.

FLEXON® is a registered trademark of iwis antriebssysteme GmbH & Co. KG

Note to the editor:
This press release is based on information provided by:
iwis antriebssysteme GmbH & Co. KG
Albert-Roßhaupter-Straße 53, 81369 München
Dr.-Ing. Frank Mitzschke
Telephone: +49 (0) 89/7 69 09 - 16 01
Fax: +49 (0) 89/7 69 09 - 49 16 01

Horst Ulrich Reimer | DuPont
Further information:

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