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Thermoplastic Material Selection for Performance, Cost, and Feel

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Cyclitech Conference on Bicycle Technology
December 6-7, 2016 • Newport Beach, CA
Sponsored by the Society of Plastic Engineers and JEC Group

A presentation on the challenges and opportunities in the use of thermoplastics in the bicycle industry.

Published in: Engineering
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Thermoplastic Material Selection for Performance, Cost, and Feel

  1. 1. Eric R. Larson, P.E. Owner / Chief Engineer Art of Mass Production Selecting Thermoplastic Materials for Performance, Cost, and Feel
  2. 2. Agenda !  Overview of Thermoplastics !  Material Selection Criteria !  Performance !  Cost !  Feel !  Bicycles - Key Requirements  !  Recommended Palette of Materials © 2016 Eric R. Larson, all rights reserved
  3. 3. My Background !  Born in Detroit !  B.S.E. (Aerospace) !  LearFan © 2016 Eric R. Larson, all rights reserved
  4. 4. Intro to Thermoplastics ! Commodity Plastics !  PE, PP, EPS ! Engineering Plastics !  ABS, acetal, nylon, PC © 2016 Eric R. Larson, all rights reserved
  5. 5. Intro to Thermoplastics ! Application Engineer !  acetal, nylon, PBT © 2016 Eric R. Larson, all rights reserved
  6. 6. Consulting Engineer ! 20+ years © 2016 Eric R. Larson, all rights reserved
  7. 7. Plastics Primer !  Polymer Chemistry !  unique language !  chemistry + physics !  Polymer Molecules !  carbon based (organic) !  primarily synthetic (man-made) !  NOT base elements !  Categorization !  Characterization © 2016 Eric R. Larson, all rights reserved
  8. 8. Polymer Chemistry !  Polymerization !  marriage of the monomers !  divorce of the monomers !  The Mer Family !  polymers !  homo-polymers !  co-polymers !  ter-polymers © 2016 Eric R. Larson, all rights reserved
  9. 9. Categorization ! Traditional Polymers ! Aromatic Polymers !  Kevlar = an aramid ! Fluorinated Polymers !  PE => PTFE © 2016 Eric R. Larson, all rights reserved
  10. 10. Characterization - Property Data “The designer who has access to standard data sheet values only must use them cautiously as a source of design information. Many of the tests reported on the sheets come under the jurisdiction of the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), and the properties are intended to characterize a material, not necessarily to provide design information.” © 2016 Eric R. Larson, all rights reserved - Engineered Materials Handbook, Volume 2, Engineering Plastics. ASM International (formerly known as the American Society for Materials)
  11. 11. Material Selection Based on Performance !  Mechanical Performance !  Strength, Stiffness, Toughness !  Electrical Performance !  Environmental Effects !  The Effects of Time !  durability, reliability © 2016 Eric R. Larson, all rights reserved
  12. 12. Material Selection Based on Performance !  Strength the ability to withstand an applied force !  Stiffness the ability to withstand bending !  Toughness the ability to withstand sudden impact © 2016 Eric R. Larson, all rights reserved
  13. 13. Toughness © 2016 Eric R. Larson, all rights reserved
  14. 14. Toughness © 2016 Eric R. Larson, all rights reserved
  15. 15. Performance Killers © 2016 Eric R. Larson, all rights reserved
  16. 16. Material Selection Based on Performance !  Avoid Data Sheets !  Find Good Data !  Design Modules © 2016 Eric R. Larson, all rights reserved
  17. 17. Material Selection Based on Cost © 2016 Eric R. Larson, all rights reserved Why Use Plastic? corrosion resistance! molded-in color! reduced weight! molded-in features! global availability! design freedom! net shape manufacturing ! energy efficient! accurate and repeatable ! environmentally benign! part consolidation! lower part costs! end-use performance! 99% of the time - we make something out of plastic because it is a cost effective manufacturing method ease of use and re-use !
  18. 18. Material Selection Based on Cost part cost = material cost + processing cost where material costs = material mass x material cost per part per part per unit mass and processing costs = molding cost + handling cost + finishing cost + assembly cost + packaging cost, etc. © 2016 Eric R. Larson, all rights reserved
  19. 19. Material Selection Based on Cost part cost = material cost + processing cost where material costs = material mass x material cost per part per part per unit mass and material mass = ƒ(design) material cost = ƒ(resin pricing, supply chain, etc) © 2016 Eric R. Larson, all rights reserved
  20. 20. Material Selection Based on Cost part cost = material cost + processing cost where total processing cost = molding cost + handling cost + finishing cost + assembly cost + packaging cost, etc. and processn cost = processn rate x cycle timen © 2016 Eric R. Larson, all rights reserved
  21. 21. Material Selection Based on Cost Molding Cost = machine rate x cycle time where machine rate = ƒ(machine size, age, location, etc) and machine size = ƒ(part size, geometry, cavitation, required shot size, tonnage) cycle time = ƒ(part design, mold design, material used, wall thickness) © 2016 Eric R. Larson, all rights reserved
  22. 22. Material Selection Based on Cost © 2016 Eric R. Larson, all rights reserved
  23. 23. Understanding Cost is Your Job © 2016 Eric R. Larson, all rights reserved
  24. 24. Material Selection Based on Feel !  A Methodology © 2016 Eric R. Larson, all rights reserved
  25. 25. Material Selection Based on Feel !  verb
 to have perception, especially by touch or by any nerves of sensation (other than those of sight, hearing, taste, and smell) 
 to be aware of something that affects you (physically, psychologically, emotionally) 
 to be aware of by instinct or inference !  noun
 a quality of an object that is perceived by feeling or touching: the soft feel of a feather
 a sensation of something, or a vague mental impression or feeling: the feel of winter; a feeling of sadness in the air
 intuitive knowledge or native ability or acquired sensitivity: a feel for the game © 2016 Eric R. Larson, all rights reserved
  26. 26. Material Selection Based on Feel © 2016 Eric R. Larson, all rights reserved thermoplastic materials offer unique opportunities to influence human response
  27. 27. Material Selection Based on Feel
  28. 28. Material Selection Based on Feel © 2016 Eric R. Larson, all rights reserved
  29. 29. Material Selection Based on Feel © 2016 Eric R. Larson, all rights reserved
  30. 30. Material Selection Based on Feel Good Feel = ƒ ( design, material, application, wow factor) where WOW = overall utility x (huh)n
 product cost and huh = ∑ ( function, cool factor, funkiness . . .) n = ƒ (what?) © 2016 Eric R. Larson, all rights reserved
  31. 31. Material Selection Based on Feel Xtl < Xjr < Xtm where X = the “feel” factor we are trying to determine and Xtl = too little X
 Xtm = too much X
 Xjr = just right X © 2016 Eric R. Larson, all rights reserved credit: Robert Southey c. 1837
  32. 32. Material Selection Based on Feel Management Commitment 
 The Feel Team Develop a Process © 2016 Eric R. Larson, all rights reserved resources: people, equipment, time those with a knack for “feel”
 curious, inquisitive comfortable with ambiguity 
 people skills goals, milestones, deadlines
 a Decision Maker
  33. 33. Key Requirements for Bicycles !  Mechanical Performance !  Safety !  Durability !  Moderate Chemical Resistance !  Moderate Temperature Requirements ! Cost Cost Cost © 2016 Eric R. Larson, all rights reserved
  34. 34. Key Manufacturing Processes !  Machining !  Prototyping !  Short Run Production !  Injection Molding !  Blow Molding !  Thermoforming / Pressure Forming © 2016 Eric R. Larson, all rights reserved
  35. 35. Recommended Material Palette !  Good !  ABS !  PP, PE !  Better !  acetal !  nylon ! Best !  glass reinforced nylon !  semi-aromatic nylon !  toughened nylon © 2016 Eric R. Larson, all rights reserved !  Custom Compounds !  tougheners, lubricants !  structural reinforcement !  Special Applications !  PTFE, Aramid, PPA !  TP elastomers !  New Developments !  long glass fiber (LGF) !  TP composites !  alloys / blends
  36. 36. Long Fiber Thermoplastics
  37. 37. Material Selection Methods ! Based on Data ! Based on Experience ! Based on Familiarity ! Based on Feel ! Based on Other © 2016 Eric R. Larson, all rights reserved
  38. 38. Resources !  Professional Societies !  SPE / ASME / SAMPE !  IAPD !  Trade Publications !  Plastics Engineering !  Plastics Today !  Plastics Technology !  Resin Suppliers / Distributors !  Compounders © 2016 Eric R. Larson, all rights reserved
  39. 39. www.artofmassproduction.com 619-269-0184 info@artofmassproduction.com Contact Info

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