Solvay impeller helps commercial laundry maker pump up performance

Water impeller from Solvay Advanced Polymers made from high-strength aromatic nylon helps washing machines work harder, longer...

ALPHARETTA, GA, May 2, 2005 (PRNewswire) -- More than a decade ago Alliance Laundry Systems LLC, one of the world's largest manufacturers of commercial laundry equipment, faced a classic dilemma. The lifespan of its durable, Goliath-like washing machines was being threatened by the mechanical equivalent of David's slingshot. The culprit? A three-inch impeller in the water pump that helps push dirty water and debris out of the machine and down the drain was failing.

Chemicals and detergents, heat from belt friction, and hot wash water were causing the impeller to wear out long before the 15 to 20-year lifespan of the average washing machine.

The solution: AMODEL® AT-1125 HS polyphthalamide (PPA) manufactured by Solvay Advanced Polymers L.L.C. This 25% glass-reinforced aromatic nylon is designed for applications requiring high stiffness, excellent dimensional stability, and resistance to heat and chemicals.

"AMODEL PPA performs well in the extreme environments typically associated with commercial laundering," said Chris Scarazzo, a market development manager for Solvay Advanced Polymers. "This includes repeated exposure to hot water, chemicals, detergents, bleaches, and fabric softeners as well as the dirt and debris found on dirty clothes."

Impellers molded from AMODEL PPA and installed in machines more than a decade ago are still performing without any cracking or breaking. According to Scarazzo, "That's a performance record that commercial laundry manufacturers have come to rely on."

With a heat deflection temperature of 536°F (280°C) and continuous use temperature of 338°F (170°C), the impeller retains its mechanical properties -- strength, stiffness, fatigue and creep resistance -- over a broad range and in high humidity environments. This versatile family of high-temperature nylons can give you the strength of aluminum, the stiffness of steel, and the impact and ductility of hard rubber -- depending on the grade you choose. Structural grades offer improved weld-line strength for larger, thicker parts. Toughened grades combine exceptional toughness with a range of stiffness and flexibility, making them a good choice for snap-fit components for both rigid, single-use and flexible, repetitive-use applications.

The AT-1125 HS grade of AMODEL PPA used in the Alliance Laundry Systems equipment can be molded using conventional injection molding equipment and standard methods. Potential applications for this grade of resin includes bearings, bearing retainers/cages, housings, chemical process equipment components, motor frames, sporting equipment, lawn and garden equipment, and various applications requiring press-fit or snap-fit assembly.

Solvay Advanced Polymers L.L.C. (www.solvayadvancedpolymers.com) produces high-performance polymers that are used in a wide range of demanding applications in the automotive, aerospace, industrial, foodservice, medical, and electronics industries worldwide. It's a member of the Solvay Group (www.solvay.com), an international chemical and pharmaceutical group based in Brussels. The Group, whose companies employ about 30,000 people in 50 countries, recorded consolidated sales for 2004 of EUR 7.9 billion generated by its three sectors: Chemicals, Plastics and Pharmaceuticals. Solvay is listed on the Euronext 100 index of top European companies.

Alliance Laundry Systems LLC, of Ripon, Wis., is one of the world's largest laundry equipment manufacturers. The company provides commercial laundry products and services to homes, coin laundries, multi-family housing, on- premise laundries, and dry cleaners under the Ajax, Huebsch, Speed Queen, and UniMac brand names. Its products are manufactured in Ripon, Wis. and Marianna, Fla.

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