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Track roller made of AKROTEK®

Rethinking Plastics – Track Rollers With Low Deformation and High Tribology

The compounder AKRO-PLASTIC GmbH, located in Niederzissen in the Rhineland-Palatinate region of Germany, manufactures compounds made of aliphatic polyketone (PK), a material which exhibits universal qualifications. Alongside outstanding tribological properties, this product is characterised by shrink-hole-free processability and low warpage. Reason enough for Industrietechnik Filzwieser GmbH from Gaflenz, Austria to use this material to produce its track rollers.

The versatile properties of AKROTEK® PK led Filzwieser to manufacture track rollers from AKROTEK® PK-HM colorless (4773) and AKROTEK® PK-HM FR colorless (4785), a V0 flame-retardant polyketone. It was previously not possible to produce components free of shrink holes using other materials. Due to the easy processability of AKROTEK® PK, problem-free track rollers can be manufactured with significantly less jetting and excellent weld line strength. According to Filzwieser, these material grades provide cost savings, as comparable rollers are currently manufactured using a significantly costlier process. By using polyketone, it is possible for the first time to manufacture rollers which emerge ready-made from the injection mould with similar quality. 

And as a welcome side note, shorter cycle times can be expected compared to other thermoplastics as a result of the material’s extremely fast crystallisation rate. This effect, in conjunction with the material’s flowability, is due in part to shrink-hole-free filling of the mould. Additional advantages include the mechanical properties, which manifest themselves in extreme toughness, with good strength and creep properties, even in the flame-retardant V0 variants (according to UL94). Not only is the rolling noise diminished as a result; the entire roller cycle also becomes smoother with less vibration and thus operates with significantly greater harmony. The tribological effect of AKROTEK® PK also helps prevent damage to the roller mate, allowing it to withstand long run cycles.

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