replacing brass in pipes, taps and fittings industrial
Industrial and social
growth of the Far East and emerging countries
has increased the consumption of metals to unexpected
The ones absorbed with greater intensity
are mainly steel, aluminum, copper and its alloys,
implying a consequent price increase as well as
a decreased availability of assets on the international
market. Looking at the price of copper, in the
last four years the cost per ton has almost quadrupled,
from the US$ 1700 of 2003 to US$ 6500 by the end
The reduced offer of metals, long delivery times
and higher prices have created serious issues,
causing production and time to market problems
for ongoing projects.
The price evolution of copper has obviously generated
severe difficulties for its alloys, in particular
for brass, whose cost, in 2004, has increased
by over 20% causing an unavoidable downturn in
the finished product market and related exports.
The latter is a dramatic issue, considering the
position of European manufacturing in the field
of pipe fittings, taps, hydraulic and pneumatic
To avoid a process which appears not to have
immediate solutions, the substitution of brass
becomes a vital passage in order to maintain
a leading position in the market and guarantee
Not an easy goal for sure, anyhow feasible if
innovation comes together with qualified business
partners, able to provide the necessary experience
and competence in the field of technical plastic
materials, the most immediate alternative to
LATI, European leader in special thermoplastic
compounds, is collaborating with several Italian
and foreign companies on replacing brass and
other metals, in particular in the pipe fitting
Working with the correct base resins, duly reinforced
and stabilized, it is possible to engineer products
offering a mechanical performance similar to
metals but at lower costs and with simpler and
faster production processes.
LATI's products are intended for injection
moulding, a technique that allows the finished
parts to be obtained with a single operation,
reducing further finishing steps and the impact
on price of scraps handling and disposal.
LATI's proposals are as follows:
Thank to its internal technical
and design service, LATI is able to assist its
Customers in the substitution of metal with FE
structural analysis, codesign and engineering
support as well as tailor made compounding.
- LATAMID and LATIGLOSS: PA66 reinforced
up to 60% with glass fibre. The best offer
in terms of price/performance, guarantees
a mechanical resistance comparable to aluminum.
The load at break is close to 220 MPa, a value
close to the one of different metals and alloys,
chemical resistance is excellent as well as
toughness and impact strength. LATAMID formulations
are suitable for use in the pneumatic valves,
in the thermosanitary sector to produce casings
and actuators, controllers and pumps, wherever
a high mechanical performance and reasonable
costs are needed. LATIGLOSS grades offer the
same mechanical and thermal properties of
LATAMID but surface finish can be vastly improved
avoiding typical aesthetic issues due to the
presence of glass or carbon fibres. LATIGLOSS
are available on brass or aluminium pigmentations
to make plastic parts look like metal.
- LARAMID: aromatic polyamide,
for the same applications of LATAMID but with
marked mechanical characteristics, mainly
in terms of load at break and thermal performance.
Low moisture absorption and high chemical
inertness make LARAMID ideal for applications
at high temperature and in presence of water
vapor and aggressive water additives.
- LARTON: PPS reinforced up to 40%
with glass fibre, ideal for improved dimensional
stability applications, and to guarantee a
constant performance in time also with the
most severe working conditions in terms of
temperature and chemical attack.
26 July 2007
LATI Industria Termoplastici S.p.A.
Via F. Baracca, 7 21040
Vedano Olona (VA) - Italy
Tel. : +390332409111 - Fax: +390332409307