PBT processing conditions

PBT processing conditions

Generic Class

PBT (Polybutylene Terephthalates)

Typical Applications

Household appliances (food processor blades, vacuum cleaner parts, fans, hair dryer housings, coffee makers, etc.), electronics (switches, motor housings, fuse cases, key caps for computer keyboards, connectors, fiber optic buffer tubing, etc.), automotive (grilles, body panels, wheel covers, and components for doors and windows, etc.)

Injection Molding Processing Conditions

Drying

This material is sensitive to hydrolysis at high temperatures. It is therefore important to dry the material prior to molding. Suggested drying conditions (in air) are 120 C (248 F) for 6 - 8 hours (or 150 C (300 F) for 2 - 4 hours). Moisture levels must be below 0.03%. When using a desiccant dryer, drying at 120 C (248 F) for 2.5 hours is recommended.
Melt Temperature  >220 - 280 C (428 - 536 F); aim: 250 C (482 F) 

Mold Temperature

40 - 60 C (104 - 140 F) for unreinforced grades. For other grades, a wide range of temperatures can be used, depending on the grade (15 - 80 C / 59 - 176 F). Cooling channels should be properly designed to minimize part warpage. The heat removal must be fast and uniform. Cooling channels of 12 mm diameter are recommended.  

Material Injection Pressure

Moderate (up to maximum of 150 MPa).  

Injection Speed

Fastest possible speeds should be used (due to fast solidification of PBTs) 

Runners and Gates

Full round runners are recommended to impart maximum pressure transmission (rule of thumb: runner diameter = part thickness + 1.5 mm). A wide variety of gates may be used. Hot runners may also be used, taking care to avoid drool and material degradation. Gate diameters or depths should preferably be between 0.8 - 1.0 times the part thickness. When using submarine gates, the minimum recommended diameter is 0.75 mm.

Chemical and Physical Properties

PBT is one of the toughest engineering thermoplastics. It is a semicrystalline material and has excellent chemical resistance, mechanical strength, electrical properties (high dielectric strength and insulation resistance), and heat resistance, all of which are stable over a broad range of environmental conditions. It has very low moisture absorption.

PBT, which is a polyester, is produced by the polycondensation reaction of dimethyl terephthalate an butanediol.

Tensile strength ranges from 50 MPa (7,250 psi) for unfilled grades to 170 MPa (24,650 psi) for glass reinforced grades. High levels of glass fillers make the material more brittle. Crystallization is rapid and this could cause warpage due to non-uniform cooling. In the case of glass filled grades, shrinkage is reduced in the flow direction, but in the cross-flow direction it may be equal to that of the generic grade. Shrinkage is of the order of 0.015 - 0.028 mm/mm (1.5 -2.8%). A 30% glass-filled material has a shrinkage range of 0.3 - 1.6%. The melting point (approximately 225 C / 437 F) and heat distortion temperatures are lower than that of PET. The Vicat softening point is approximately 170 C (338 F). The glass transition temperature ranges from 22 - 43 C (71 - 109 F).

The melt viscosity is fairly low and due to fast crystallization rates, cycle times are typically low.


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