Press Release Summary:
Mega-Lok buckle, made with CelconÂ® acetal copolymer, has 5-point structure that accommodates 2 shoulder harnesses, waist strap, and straps passing through crotch. Each male element includes integrally molded leaf spring acting on pivoting lever to keep steady pinching load on waist strap. Design combines center-button buckle with side-latching legs, where single button frees all connections at once.
Original Press Release:
Innovative Buckle from National Molding Corp. Made of Celcon® Acetal Copolymer Holds Children in Their Seats
Summit, New Jersey; Kelsterbach, Germany, June 18, 2003 - Keeping active children from climbing or falling out of strollers and high chairs is no easy chore. A new buckle from National Molding Corporation (USA) makes this task easier through a novel design that combines convenience and strength. The Mega-Lok buckle, as the new unit is called, uses Celcon® acetal copolymer from Ticona, the technical polymers business of Celanese AG (NYSE: CZ; FSE: CZZ), to gain needed processing and mechanical properties, especially for its critical molded-in springs.
The buckle has a five-point structure that accommodates two shoulder harnesses, a waist strap and straps passing through the crotch. A button on the center section releases the two male side elements via an integrally molded spring. Each male element includes a leaf spring acting on a pivoting lever to keep a steady pinching load on the waist strap. Unlike other buckles that use offset bars to hold this strap in place through friction, the pivoting lever provides an additional element that prevents accidental strap slippage, even with small and slender children.
"Mega-Lok buckles offer a combination of strength, safety and ease of use," says Joseph Anscher, president of National Molding. "Our design mates the convenience of a center-button buckle with the strength of side-latching legs. The single button frees all connections at once, so all straps open quickly with one hand."
"The buckle has just four components: two male side elements, the pivoting locking bar in the male elements, and the center female element. The built-in springs in the male and female sections made molding more challenging, but greatly simplified assembly."
National Molding turned to Celcon® acetal copolymer for the buckle because it flows well in processing and parts emerge from the mold with a smooth and even finish. The material also has good tensile strength, as well as high lubricity and low wear so male and female parts slide over each other smoothly.
"Celcon® acetal has excellent spring properties, such as good memory and the ability to carry sustained spring tension loads without fatigue, which are needed to ensure a dependable and long-lived buckle," Anscher says. "The material is practically impervious to moisture, so spring tension remains steady in the face of spills and large shifts in relative humidity."
Hetero Cavity® Molding Halves Tooling Cost
The three male components are made by the company's proprietary Hetero Cavity® system. This family molding process produces many small parts at once in individual tools on the same mold base. This method reduces per-part cost because tools share machine time, technology and resources.
The process also lowers tooling costs. For example, it enabled National Molding to cut the expense of developing tooling for the male elements of the Mega-Lok buckle by more than $40,000 and still accommodate the cams that formed the cross holes for the pivot levers. The tooling cost was nearly half of what would have been needed with conventional tools.
The female center body, which has an internal spring for the release action of the button, was molded in a conventional mold. This allowed for the highly complex cams that formed the internal structure of this element.
National Molding has used Celcon® acetal copolymer for many years in a range of components. These include those for irrigation and plumbing products and automotive parts that need lubricity and low wear, such as those for seating and internal door elements.
Additional Information Available
For information on Celcon® acetal copolymer, contact: Ticona, 90 Morris Avenue, Summit, New Jersey, 07901, USA. Phone: 1-800-833-4882 or 1-908-522-7500. Email: email@example.com. In Europe: Ticona GmbH, Professor-Staudinger-StraÃŸe, D-65451 Kelsterbach, Germany. Phone: +49-(0)180-584-2662 (DE) or +49-(0)693-051-6299 (EU). Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Or visit www.ticona.com.
For information about National Molding and its Hetero Cavity® molding process and other services, contact: National Molding Corp., Five Dubon Court, Farmingdale, New York, 11735, USA. Phone: 1-631-293-8696. Fax: 1-631-293-0988. Email: email@example.com. Or visit: www.nationalmolding.com.
About National Molding
Founded in 1964, National Molding Corporation is headquartered in Farmingdale, New York. It has three production locations in the U.S. and one each in Italy, China and South Korea. The company supports automotive and other manufacturers through the design, engineering, material specification, production and assembly of molded plastic products and assemblies.
National Molding is the largest North American producer of plastic fasteners and buckles. It also is the largest U.S. molder specializing in family molding and maintains a library of about 30,000 tools for use in its Hetero Cavity® family molding process. For more information, see: www.nationalmolding.com.
About Ticona and Celanese
Ticona, the technical polymers business of Celanese AG, Frankfurt, produces and markets a broad range of engineering polymers and achieved sales of Euros 757 million in 2002. Ticona has approximately 2,400 employees at production, compounding and research facilities in the USA, Germany and Brazil.
Celanese AG is a global chemicals company with leading positions in its key products and world class process technology. The Celanese portfolio consists of five main businesses: Acetyl Products, Chemical Intermediates, Acetate Products, Technical Polymers Ticona and Performance Products.
Celanese generated sales of around Euros4.3 billion in 2002 and has 10,700 employees. The company has 25 production plants and six research centers in 11 countries mainly in North America, Europe and Asia. Celanese AG shares are listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (symbol CZZ) and New York Stock Exchange (symbol CZ).
For further information about Ticona and Celanese, please visit our websites: www.ticona.com and www.celanese.com.