Leverkusen, Germany - Each of the two side panels and tailgate of the 'Jaguar Green Eye' forage harvester from Claas KGaA mbH is made by Pestel PUR-Kunststofftechnik GmbH in a single shot from polyurethane.
Agricultural vehicle maker Class of in Harsewinkel, Germany and PU moulder Pestel are using a flame-retardant, microcellular polyurethane system - Baydur 110 - from BaySystems BÜFA, part of Bayer MaterialScience.
This material is characterised by a very low viscosity at the processing stage, which means it "can find its way into even the smallest cavity in the mould to deliver reproducible results," said a 15 Feb Bayer statement.
"The benefits of polyurethanes over conventional materials such asglass-fibre-reinforced plastics or sheet moulding compounds becomeparticularly apparent when manufacturing large mouldings with complexinterior surfaces", commented Ulf-Peter Pestel, managing director ofPestel PUR-Kunststofftechnik, in the Bayer press statement.
Bayer points out that the automotive and commercial vehicles industry is continuing to move away from sheet steel in bodywork parts to the use of high-performance plastics.
Benefits of plastics include greater design freedom, lower weight, and cost-effectiveness in production, the company adds.
In the current case, Pestel found the excellent material flow characteristics and low cavity pressure mean there are "virtually no restrictions on the geometric design of the moulded parts, especially in the edge and interior areas," said Bayer.
Each of the large side panels is 4 x 2 m and weighs around 40 kg. The 30 kg tailgate's external dimensions are 1.7 x 1.6 m. All three components have features such as undercuts, ribbing and significant changes in wall thickness.
Other advantages are that Pestel can use inexpensive aluminium moulds, while metal bushings and other inserts can be integrated during moulding.
At Pestel's headquarters in Chemnitz, Germany, it has equipment that can produce PU parts with shot weights of up to 90 kg, and it makes its own foam moulds for such parts, as well as having its own paint shop for all popular coating systems.
"As a professional systems supplier, we can provide our customers with support for everything from product development to ready-coated parts preassembled with add-ons if necessary", said Pestel.