fan made of bio-PA

Wing of owl made from bio-based polyamide 6.10

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  • 30% reinforced bio-based PA 6.10 material for axial fan
  • Lower density, less water absorption than standard polyamides
  • Bionics for new design solutions

Akro-Plastic GmbH has cooperated with Ziehl-Abegg SE to develop a bio-based polyamide 6.10 compound for the so-called “bionic bio-fan”, a new generation of fan, whose blade geometry is based on an owl-wing pattern, resulting in a reduction in fan noise. The material is reinforced with 30% glass fibre to ensure safe operation of the fan even at higher speeds.

With a biogenic C-portion of up to 70%, the new Akromid S compound from Akro-Plastic satisfies the common definition of a bio-plastic. Castor oil from the seeds of the castor oil plant (Ricinunscommunis) forms the basis of sebacic acid, which in turn serves as the basis for the polymer’s renewable raw material portion. PA 6.10 is not bio-degradable. In engineering plastics applications, this property is completely undesirable, as these applications require a long service life of the end product and an equally high material resistance, which cannot be fulfilled by a degradable plastic.

Bionics utilises design solutions based on examples found in nature. Lightweight construction due to material reductions, high mechanical strengths through the use of struts in the necessary places and a reduction in notching effects due to special notching geometries are properties derived from bionics. The latest-generation of axial fan from Ziehl-Abegg was developed in this way.

Compared to standard polyamides, such as PA 6 and PA 6.6, PA 6.10 has following advantages:

• lower density, up to 6% lower component weight
• less water absorption, therefore less effect of moisture on the mechanical properties
• better chemical resistance
• CO2 savings of up to 60% with respect to the percentage of polyamide

The glass fibre-reinforced material is produced by Akro’s sister company Feddem GmbH & Co. KG. Here a twin-screw extruder without kneading block is used to ensure careful dispersion of the glass fibres and a more gentle compounding of the material leading to an increased tensile strength and impact resistance.

The bionic fans will be used in refrigeration technology (refrigeration chain to the supermarket), heaters and heat pumps, and for electronics cooling (computing centres and switchgear-cabinet and inverter cooling).

Picture Bionic design of Ziehl-Abegg fan blade with optimised geometry for reducing drive power and noise (photo: Ziehl-Abegg)

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