Aesthetics and Strength – A Beautiful Combination

Ixef® PARA (polyarylamide) provides a unique combination of strength and aesthetics, making it ideal for complex parts that require both overall strength and a smooth, beautiful surface.

Ixef® compounds typically contain 50-60% glass fiber reinforcement, giving them remarkable strength and rigidity. What makes them unique is that even with high glass loadings, the smooth, resin-rich surface delivers a high-gloss, glass-free finish that’s ideal for painting, metallization or producing a naturally reflective shell.

High flow into thin walls

In addition, Ixef® PARA is an extremely high-flow resin so it can readily fill walls as thin as 0.5 mm, even with glass loadings as high as 60%.

Excellent Surface Finish

Superb, resin-rich surface provides a highly polished appearance, even with high glass fiber content.

 

Ixef_InMold

 

Surface Roughness

Ixef_SurfaceRoughness

 

Very High Strength and Stiffness

The tensile and flexural strength of Ixef compounds are similar to many cast metals and alloys at ambient temperature. Ixef 1032 (60% glass fiber) exhibits typical values of 280 MPa and 400 MPa respectively at 23°C (73°F).

 

Tensile Strength vs. Tensile Modulus

Ixef_TensileStrengthModulus

 

Tensile properties comparison*
Material Tensile Strength 
at Break, MPa
Tensile Modulus, 
GPa
Ixef 1022  (50% glass fiber) 280 20
Ixef 1032  (60% glass fiber) 280 24
Tin Bronze 300 105
Brass 250 105
Annealed Zinc 150 105
Zinc Alloy (4% Al, 0.04% Mg) 280 85
Annealed Aluminum (99.6%) 70 69
Duralumin 190 74
Al Ag3 Alloy 140 69

*ASTM Test Method at 23°C (73°F)

 

Flexural Strength vs. Flexural Modulus

Ixef_FlexuralStrengthModulus

 

Very Low Creep

The creep resistance of Ixef® compounds is superior to that of most engineering polymers with similar glass fiber content. Deformation of Ixef® 1032 is less than 1% after 1,000 hours under 50 MPa of pressure at 50°C (122°F).

 

Creep Resistance at Elevated Temperatures

Ixef_CreepResistance

Good Dimensional Stability

The coefficient of linear thermal expansion (CLTE) of Ixef® compounds is similar to that of many cast metals and alloys at ambient temperatures. Low mold shrinkage and the ability to maintain tight tolerances (as little as ± 0.05% length tolerances when properly molded) allow for high reproducibility.

Coefficient of Linear Thermal Expansion of Ixef® Resin
Ixef® 1022 1.5 10-5K-1 (Flow direction)
Ixef® 1022 3.6 10-5K-1 (Transverse direction)
Steel 1.2 10-5K-1
Aluminum 2.4 10-5K-1
Brass 1.8 10-5K-1
Zinc 3 10-5K-1
Low and Slow Rate of Water Absorption

Ixef® PARA’s highly aromatic structure results in lower and slower water absorption than typical polyamides, which are highly sensitive to humidity. Water absorption for Ixef® 1022 (50% glass fiber) is only 0.16% after 24 hours of water immersion at room temperature.

 

Moisture Absorption, 24h at 23 °C

Ixef_MoistureAbsorption

Good Chemical Resistance

Ixef® compounds are highly resistant to aqueous solutions of wide range of chemicals and cleaning fluids as well as to common solvents, such as:

  • Aliphatic hydrocarbons
  • Aromatic hydrocarbons
  • Chlorinated solvents
  • Ketones
  • Esters
  • Ethers
  • Glycols

Testing also shows good resistance to standard engine oil (Type SAE 10W30) after 2,000 hours at 120°C (248°F) and to automotive fuels after 2,000 hours at 40°C (104°F).

Ease of Processing

Ixef® resin offers good injectability even for grades with high glass fiber content – ideal for molding complex or thin-walled parts. Immediately below the smooth outer surface, glass fibers orient in the flow direction, while at the core, fiber orientation becomes random. The result is a strong polymer with a beautiful, smooth finish.

Recommendations for Processing

Processing Temperatures
Cylinder Temperature
Feed zone 250 - 280°C
Compression zone 250 - 280°C
Metering zone or homogenization zone 250 - 280°C
Nozzle 260 - 290°C
Hot runners (when used) 250 - 260°C
Temperature of the Melt (measured on purged material)
Standard grades (eg. Ixef® 1022, 2030) 280°C
Impact modified (eg. Ixef® 1622) and flame retardant grades (eg. Ixef® 1521, 1524) <270°C
Mold Temperature
Mold Temperature 120 - 140°C
Plasticizing
Screw Speed, peripheral(1) 3-10 m/min
Back Pressure 0-10 bar
Injection
Injection Speed High
Injection Pressure 500-1500 bar (material)
Hold and Cooling
Hold Pressure 500-1500 bar (material)
Hold time(sec) 3w (2)
Cooling time, including hold time(sec) 2.5w2 (3)

(1)for screw diameter 25-50 mm 
(2)w = wall thickness in mm 
(3)w = wall thickness in mm, > 2mm

Mold Temperature

It is essential that the mold temperature be 120°C to 140°C to achieve maximum crystallinity. This will assure:

  • Good surface finish
  • Good dimensional stability
  • Full mechanical properties
  • Low moisture absorption
What is Ixef® PARA?

Ixef® is a semi-aromatic polyamide. It combines low moisture pickup, high fluidity, mechanical performance and high surface aspect.

Can Ixef® PARA be colored?

If the desired color doesn’t exist in commercial portfolio, a colored masterbatch with a PA66 carrier could be used.

Can you tell me if Ixef® PARA is compatible with a certain chemical?

Ixef® PARA is part of polyamide family. It has inherent chemical resistance.

IXEF® compounds display a good resistance to chemical reagents. However the amide function in the resin matrix makes them sensitive to certain chemicals.

It is very rapidly degraded by:

  • Powerful oxidants (03, Cl2, etc.)
  • Highly concentrated mineral acids (H2SO4, HNO3, etc.)

 

It is degraded at ambient temperature by:

  • Diluted mineral acids
  • Acetic acid and formic acid

 

It is degraded at high temperature by:

  • Strong bases (KOH, NaOH, etc.)
  • Most organic acids
  • Formaldehyde
Will a crystalline part or an amorphous part have better properties?

The glass transition of Ixef® PARA is about 85°C. Temperature measured of the cavity tool has to be above 120°C to ensure having full crystallinity of polymer. Molding at lower temperature will not allow to have full crystallinity and by consequence the expected mechanical performances. Differential Scanning Calorimetry is used to determine the crystallinity level of molded article.

Is there some way to determine whether an Ixef® PARA part is crystalline or amorphous?

Differential Scanning Calorimetry is used to determine the crystallinity level of molded article. A endothermic peak around 85°C is an evidence of molding in a cavity tempered at a temperature below recommended processing temperature of 120°C. For more information or technical assistance, contact your Specialty Polymers Technical Marketing representative. 

Could injection processing affect Ixef® PARA properties?

Molding Ixef® PARA with recommended molding processing is not affecting mechanical performances. Too high melting temperature and/or too long residence time could affect performance.  IV, multi-shear viscosity and DSC measurement will help to determine the degradation level.

Is there some way to measure the polymer degradation?

IV, multi-shear viscosity and DSC measurement will help to determine the degradation level. For more information or technical assistance, contact your Specialty Polymers Technical Marketing representative. 

Do you have any FDA-approved grades?

Solvay has developed Ixef® PARA compounds with fillers and additives that are suitable to match FDA regulation.

  • Ixef® FC-1022 was developed to meet FDA but also EU food norms above year 2016
  • Ixef® FC-1022 is certified FDA for condition B to H and is EU 11/2011 certified
Is Ixef® PARA suitable for use in applications where it is exposed to ultraviolet (UV) light?

Ixef® PARA has inherent fairly good UV resistance. Solvay has developed Ixef® 1025 as dedicated compounds that have particular good long term UV performance.

Is it really necessary to use a mold temperature of 120°C (275°F)?

Glass transition of Ixef® is about 85°C. Temperature measured of the cavity tool has to be above 120°C to ensure having full crystallinity of polymer. Molding at lower temperature will not allow to have full crystallinity and by consequence the expected mechanical performances. Differential Scanning Calorimetry is used to determine the crystallinity level of molded article. 

 

For more information or technical assistance, contact your Specialty Polymers Technical Marketing representative. 

For right processing, what is the recommended moisture content level for Ixef® PARA?

Ixef® PARA compounds are delivered in granular form (bulk density around 0.7 g/cm3) usually in 25 kg bags or 1 ton octabins. Both package types are sealed and water-tight, so it is not necessary to dry the product before processing. If the packaging is left open in a humid atmosphere or if regrind is used, the product absorbs moisture at a rate which depends on the environmental conditions. 

 

If the water content of the granules exceeds 0.3 % (e.g. after 4 hours under the conditions mentioned above), it becomes necessary to dry the product.

 

One can use hot-air drying at 80 °C for 12 hours. Drying under vacuum is not only intrinsically more effective, but also makes it possible to work at higher temperatures. We recommend using a temperature of 120 °C. Under these conditions, for a layer of granules 3 cm thick and a reduced pressure of P = 2-3 mm Hg, the drying rate (see figure below).

 

Ixef-moisture-loss-vacuum-drying

For more information or technical assistance, contact your Specialty Polymers Technical Marketing representative. 

Do you have the properties required for a finite element stress analysis?

Most of Ixef® PARA grades are fully characterized to run FEA analysis. For more information or technical assistance, contact your Specialty Polymers Technical Marketing representative.

Do you have the material parameters required for conducting a flow simulation?

Most of Ixef® PARA grades are fully characterized to run FEA analysis. Please contact your Specialty Polymers Technical Marketing representative to help you for your application.

Is Ixef® PARA characterized for Digimat?

Most of Ixef® PARA grades are fully characterized to run FEA analysis. Please contact your Specialty Polymers Technical Marketing representative to help you for your application.

What types of adhesives are best for bonding Ixef® PARA?

The IXEF® compounds can be assembled by bonding without any difficulty. Four main types of adhesives have been evaluated for bonding IXEF® on IXEF® and IXEF® on steel:

Cyanoacrylates

  • Single Part Fast Curing Adhesives
  • Ideally suited for small part bonding
  • Toughened grades available
  • Optimum Gap Fill 0.15 mm
  • Maximum Temperature 80-110 °C (Depending on grade)

 

Two part Acrylics

  • Tough, and semi-flexible
  • Good adhesion to many substrates
  • Optimum Gap Fill 1 mm
  • Maximum temperature 100-120 °C (Depending on grade)

 

Modified Silane Adhesive/Sealants

  • Very flexible
  • Slow Cure
  • Excellent gap fill (3-4 mm)
  • Good Water resistance

 

Epoxies

  • Good shear and impact resistance
  • Optimum Gap Fill 2 mm
  • Maximum Temperature 100 °C

Ixef® PARA Technical Data Sheets