Herman Miller Equa Chair Benefits from DSM’s FRP Akulon Ultraflow

30 July 2004

Herman Miller, Inc. has selected Akulon Ultraflow fibreglass-reinforced polyamide resin from DSM Engineering Plastics for the structural shell on their line of Equa Chairs.

Engineers at Herman Miller chose the high-flow polyamide 6 (PA6) for the material's excellent long-term fatigue performance and superior surface finish. In the Equa chair, Akulon Ultraflow also wards off scuffs and scrapes, helping to maintain the chair's aesthetics.

""Herman Miller is constantly looking for ways to improve the performance and beauty of its designs,"" says Bert Havenith General Product Manager Akulon Europe of DSM, ""and the Ultraflow material did just that for Equa. The thermoplastic resin is injection moulded into the Equa Chair’s one-piece seat and back to produce a strong, flexible, cost-effective, and visually pleasing shell.”

The improved flow properties of Akulon Ultraflow, important for the long flowing lines of the Equa chair, derive from proprietary technology developed by DSM Research and Development and introduced in 2001.

The improved flow level of Akulon Ultraflow in comparison to that of standard PA6 grades translates to important benefits like cycle time reduction, freedom of design and opportunities for wall thickness reductions, improved surface appearance, potentially more cavities per tool, the need for smaller injection moulding units, and lower moulded-in stress and warpage combined with excellent retention of mechanical performance.

Akulon Ultraflow replaced polyethylene terephthalate (PET) resin in the original design and has reduced costs while improving the durability of the product. ""We were able to significantly increase the fatigue performance of the chair shell,"" said Andy Hector Product Engineer at Herman Miller, “which will increase the expected life of the chair and reduce warranty costs.""

The Equa line provides high-performance, adjustable, long-term seating with a one-piece flexible shell in three sizes, for computer work, general office work, and formal or informal meetings. The ergonomically-designed seat and back of the Equa 2 shell flex separately so the chair automatically responds to the user's movements.

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