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Attwater

Reinforced Nylon Compounds for Universal Fan Blades

22 October 2010

The difficulty of finding a specific size replacement fan for a downed refrigeration system compressor led Lamont Van Slate, owner of Van's Refrigeration Service, to conceive the ""Van Fan"", a universal cooling fan with blades that can be resized on-site to fit individual system needs.

Material engineers from custom thermoplastics compounder RTP Company recommended using a reinforced nylon compound for the blade to give it the stiffness and rigidity required.

According to Bob Mattox, owner of Mattox Machine and Molding, who developed the universal cooling fan in collaboration with Van's Refrigeration, the fan has the potential to revolutionize the industry. ""Instead of storing large inventories of bulky fans with blades of various sizes and designs, repairmen and suppliers can now simply stock a series of interchangeable blades that snap on and off a common hub,"" he said. ""This reduces the number of fan assemblies that need to be stocked.""

The Van Fan's design includes a unique trimmable blade feature, which enables the blades to be individually resized to work on any fan from 6 to 26 inches (15-65 cm) in diameter. In addition, the blade pitch can be set to eight different choices to allow the most efficient airflow. ""With so many blade options available in one fan, technicians no longer have to spend time searching for the correct size fan blade,"" explained Mattox.

After evaluating the fan's requirements, RTP Company engineers recommended an RTP 200 Series glass fibre reinforced nylon 6/6 compound for the blades. The material provided the necessary stiffness and rigidity to remain balanced during operation, as well as high impact resistance and UV stability. These characteristics enable the blades to withstand the harsh climate and temperature changes associated with a challenging outdoor operating environment.

""We searched far and wide for a material supplier who could engineer a solution that met our specifications,"" said Mattox, ""RTP Company's custom compound matched our needs far better than any other material we tried. The result has been just remarkable.""