Xenoy* Resins Offer Solution to Vapor Permeation

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Press Release –

GE Plastics today announced new grades of its tough Xenoy* resin, which are excellent candidates to help meet the regulatory, performance, and cost challenges of molding fuel tanks for lawn mowers, snow blowers, personal recreation vehicles, generators, and other small engines. Xenoy X6800BM blow-molding and Xenoy 6620-GT injection-molding resin grades provide a one-step, monolayer solution to help meet current and upcoming California Air Resources Board (CARB) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards governing vapor emissions from small engine off-road fuel tanks.

Xenoy resins avoid the high costs of traditional multilayer extrusion blow-molding processes, as well as the cost and time required for secondary fluorination of conventional monolayer molded tanks.

The new materials also provide an outstanding balance of mechanical performance and weatherability, and are available in both natural and pre-colored black.

“The increasingly strict requirements of CARB and EPA regarding fuel permeation in small engine tanks are driving the need for new material solutions,” said Craig Williams, industry manager, Transportation at GE Plastics. “Because existing multilayer and monolayer approaches involve significant complexity, GE Plastics developed the new Xenoy resins that offer molding simplicity, speed, high performance, and compliance with regulations – not just today, but into the future. Xenoy resins for small engine off-road fuel tanks provide a one-step molding solution to help customers meet new regulations while remaining competitive.”

Key applications for the new Xenoy resins include walk-behind consumer mowers, six million of which were shipped in the United States in 2006, and hand-held gasoline blowers and trimmers, with more than 8.6 million units shipped last year, according to the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute. Snowmobile fuel tanks are another large application, with about 90,000 snowmobiles shipped in the United States in 2006, according to the International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association.

Xenoy X6800BM and Xenoy 6620-GT resins not only comply with the current 2007/08 CARB standard, which limits fuel vapor emissions to 2.5g/m2/day for small off-road engines, but also comply with the tighter 2011/12 limit of 1.5g/m2/day. CARB requirements are becoming the de facto industry standard.

Compared to multilayer extrusion blow molding, a complex barrier solution that can require a capital outlay of $2 to $5 million for the equipment, blow- or injection-molding Xenoy resins is simple and may potentially utilize existing tooling.

In contrast to post-molding fluorination of monolayer parts, which requires a secondary operation and may perform unevenly, the new Xenoy resins incorporate an inherent barrier material that delivers consistent permeation resistance throughout the part.

Other benefits of the new materials include:

• Excellent high- and low-temperature ductility
• Excellent UV stability
• Efficient processing with robust regrind capability
• Ability to do hot-plate or vibration welding
• Available in black and natural color

Other applications include fuel tanks for jet skis, generators, chainsaws, rototillers, ice augers, go carts, power washers, golf carts, and other devices requiring small off-road engines.

For more information on GE’s Xenoy resin, please visit the GE Plastics’ website at www.geplastics.com.

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