Chinaplas: New polyamide 66 engineering resin bridges gap to more costly, high temperature alternatives

The transition from internal combustion engine-powered vehicles to full electric vehicles will take some time due to driving range and infrastructure limitations. In the interim hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) in their various guises will play a key role in the shift to a low carbon future. This is the view of Bertrand Lousteau, General Manager, Performance Polyamide APAC, at Solvay Performance Polyamides.

Tensile strength after ageing: Test results have confirmed that 2,000 hours of working temperature at 220°C are perfectly manageable with Solvay’s cost-effective new Technyl Red J high-heat technology for automotive turbo engine components.
Solvay Performance Polyamides’ Technyl e-range focuses on surging demand for materials capable of handling the cost/performance challenges of automotive electrical and electronic components, including signal orange colored grades for high-voltage applications such as connectors, circuit breakers, sensors and insulators in the growing market segment of e-mobility.

During what will probably be a ten-year transition period, the smaller engines employed in HEVs will operate at higher temperatures to realize higher efficiencies, hence necessitating the use of polyamide (PA) 66, polyphthalamide (PPA), and polyphenylene sulfide (PPS) engineering resins. Solvay is working to bridge the gap between PA 66 and higher temperature PPA resins with the debut of its Red J PA-based material specially designed for turbocharger systems running at continuous temperatures up to 220°C.

“Auto makers have recently been refining the real operating temperatures needed for thermal management systems. They realized that traditional high-heat polymers appear to be over-engineered and can also be too brittle to maintain required thermal, pressure and chemical performance over time,” says Didier Chomier, Automotive Global Marketing Manager for Solvay’s Performance Polyamides Global Business Unit. “In response to these specific auto industry needs we developed and are introducing Red J material. Red J is the top-of-the-range building block of our Technyl Red offering for thermal management systems. The superior property profile of Technyl Red J targets applications such as air intake manifolds, charge air coolers, turbo air ducts, resonators, cylinder head and engine covers.”

Technyl Red J reportedly offers outstanding long-term heat ageing performance of up to 220°C (at 2,000 hours) or 210°C (at 3,000 hours). Based on patented PA 66/6T technology, Technyl Red J flows like PA 66, ensures high chemical resistance and excellent surface aspect.

In addition, it is highly suitable for both vibration and hot gas welding, delivering high burst pressure levels confirmed in extensive pulsated air pressure tests at Solvay’s Application Performance Testing (APT) centers. Recommended melt and mold temperatures are significantly lower than competitive PA 4.6 or PPA resins, which saves energy during processing and minimizes part cooling time.

On the electric side of the HEV, Solvay sees high demand for high temperature flame-retardant grades used in connectors and charging infrastructure such as the company’s e-range of PAs developed to “provide fit-for-purpose and cost-efficient solutions to meet major challenges and disruptive trends such as connectivity and autonomy as HEVs, all-electric vehicles (xEV) and autonomous vehicles share a common and growing need for improved electrical and electronic components performance.”

“China is playing an increasing role in the field of e-mobility,” says Nicolas Batailley, Global e-Mobility Leader for Solvay Performance Polyamides. “While the country nearly accounts for one-third of the world’s automotive production, the share of both hybrid and fully electric vehicles manufactured in China has been set to an ambitious target of 20 percent by 2025, which represents almost seven million vehicles. Our Technyl range has been further enriched to help reach this challenging goal.”

The enhanced Technyl range comprises flame retardant (FR) solutions, electro-friendly products in both pure and high purity grades and the novel ion-free PA 66 grade for fuel cell applications. Developed in close collaboration with OEMs and Tier 1 partners, the range reportedly meets the challenges in terms of cost, performance and sustainability at the highest levels in the market.

“We have also developed a range of highly stable Technyl orange colored grades as we continue to innovate our portfolio for e-driven vehicle applications,” adds Batailley. “Orange is the new black for ease of identification as we focus on components designed to handle high voltages, such as connectors, circuit breakers and insulators.”

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