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Replacing aluminum motor housing with long fiber composite
Source:Adsale Plastics Network     Editor:VC    Date:10.Feb.2021

Avient Corporation recently collaborated with Bettcher Industries, Inc., a leading manufacturer of food processing equipment, on converting the support yoke of its Quantum Motor from metal to plastic.


Targeting an alternative to cast aluminum, Avient and Bettcher teamed up to re-engineer the yoke, which supports a 25-pound motor that powers a variety of meat trimming tools.


The challenge was to deliver a lighter, polymeric replacement that would lower overall finished part costs yet retain reliable performance in rigorous-use environments. Specifically, the material needed to handle constant weight loads and high vibration, and withstand corrosive chemicals.


Avient identified its Complēt long glass fiber reinforced nylon composite as the right material to deliver the required strength and enhanced performance. Nearly 40% lighter than the cast aluminum it would replace, the long fiber material also added the benefit of injection molding for faster, single-step production to drive down costs.

Avient and Bettcher teamed up to convert the support yoke of Quantum Motor from metal to plastic.

“Opportunities for metal replacement are all around us,” noted Eric Wollan, general manager of PlastiComp at Avient. “This project is an excellent example of how the strength and toughness of Complēt long fiber composites offer a light weight solution and an exceptional substitute for metals across many industries.”


Avient conducted virtual prototyping, such as mold filling and finite element analysis (FEA), on a redesigned yoke, while Bettcher conducted testing on a physical prototype to simulate a half million use cycles.


Backed by these results, Avient formulated a pre-colored, long-fiber material to match Bettcher’s existing product palette. This eliminated secondary painting and finishing, offering further cost savings.


“We are grateful for Avient’s proactive approach,” said Joel Hall, senior engineering manager at Bettcher. “Because of the collaborative engineering with Avient, we were able to confidently transition to the long-fiber technology and ultimately deliver a high-end, innovative product to our customers.”



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