1690. Torlon Engineered Parts Cut Weight in Half


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J J McMullan: 1690. Torlon Engineered Parts Cut Weight in Half. In: 45th Annual Conference, Williamsburg, Virginia, May 12-14, pp. 15, Society of Allied Weight Engineers, Inc., Williamsburg, Virginia, 1986.



Significant weight savings are possible by substituting Torlon for metal. In applications where substitution is made without design changes, weight savings of 50% are typical for replacing aluminum, and 80% for steel. These figures are lower, but still impressive, when the design is modified to make the Torlon part equivalent to the original metal design in strength or stiffness. With injection molding, design features are permitted that reduce weight further. These features, such as coring, are not economically feasible in metal parts, because costly machining operations are necessary. Among the growing number of high-performance polymers, Torlon holds a unique position. Its strength and stiffness are high across a temperature range of -321degF to 500degF (-196degC to 260degC). Torlon is resistant to attack by aviation fluids and most other chemicals. Low expansion coefficients, long-term dimensional stability, and low flammability and smoke generation characterize the material. Fabrication by injection molding offers favorable economics and freedom in design that is not practical with metal. The properties are dramatically demonstrated by the ''Plastic Engine'' which powered a world-class race car in 1984 and 1985. Examples from the aerospace industry illustrate the types of weight savings made possible by designing with Torlon instead of metal.


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