Polyamide 6 reduces weight of power tools without compromising the performance
Tailor-made high-performance plastics are the material of choice for the production of these lightweight, powerful and accurate power tools. For example, housing parts of Metabo cordless shears and nibblers are made from polyamide 6 from LANXESS.
Craftsmen understand the importance of lightweight, powerful and accurate power tools. Tailor-made high-performance plastics are the material of choice for the production of these tools. The SCV 18 LTX BL 1.6 cordless sheet shears and the NIV 18 LTX BL 1.6 cordless nibbler from Metabo are perfect examples for this. The Nürtingen-based manufacturer of professional power tools has added these devices to its range of cordless cutting tools. “The housing shells and the upper and lower shells of the batteries for both tools are made from our polyamide 6 Durethan materials. These injection moulding compounds enable the complex, compact and highly functional housing parts to be manufactured in such a way that they weigh very little, are robust enough to deal with everyday tasks and are at the same time visually appealing,” explained Bernhard Stoll, expert in the use of plastics in electrical and electronic components at LANXESS, the Germany-based global specialty chemicals company.
Weight savings for more battery cells
The black upper shell of the 18V battery, for example, is made from Durethan BKV50H2.0EF, a flow-optimized polyamide 6 with a 50 percent by weight glass fiber content. “The advantage of our highly reinforced material is its good flowability, which enables the creation of very thin walls in addition to excellent surface qualities, despite the high glass fiber content. The excellent mechanical properties of the compound, such as rigidity and strength, also remain largely unaffected by humidity,” says Stoll. The high rigidity of the material also means considerable weight savings as a result of the thin walls. The low weight also improves the handling and balance of the tools.
Green and bright red
The lower shell of the battery is injection-molded from Durethan BKV30Q. In addition to its mechanical properties, it was the red color, the high surface quality and the cost-effective processability that gave the standard compound the edge. By contrast, the slim and high-grip half-shells of the device housing are made from impact-resistant modified Durethan BKV130CS. Despite the 30% glass fiber reinforcement, this copolyamide 6 also produces flawless surfaces. They are colored in a special Metabo green, which, together with the bold red of the lower battery shell, reinforces the tool manufacturer's color branding. Like the other materials, the compound is characterized by its high rigidity across a wide temperature range. According to Stoll, “This makes the housings resistant to impacts and shocks, as confirmed by the typical drop tests for such tools.”
Both the cordless shears and the cordless nibbler facilitate daily work – whether on the roof or on the facade, in the sanitary and heating sector, in ventilation and air conditioning technology or in vessel construction. Tinsmiths, for example, can use the tools to work sheet metal for flue flashing directly on-site. In this case, the SCV 18 LTX BL 1.6 cordless sheet shears excels in cutting flat sheets, and the NIV 18 LTX BL 1.6 cordless nibbler in the handling of corrugated and trapezoidal sheets. The cuts are produced without flying sparks or build-up of heat. They neither deform the material nor damage the paint or the coating.