Chemicals company Solvay and plastic tubing producer Maincor Rohrsysteme GmbH & Co. KG report that they have pioneered a technique to extrude flexible corrugated tubing with varying wall thicknesses and diameters. This advance will help meet new thermal-management design challenges stemming from combining internal combustion engine (ICE) and e-mobility technologies, including batteries, e-motors, and power electronics.
The tubing is made from Solvay’s Ryton PPS mono-layer extrusion-grade XE3500BL, a high-performance resin now optimized for the production of corrugated tubing and commercially available worldwide. Automotive OEMs have specified this durable, lightweight material to replace heavier and bulkier rubber tubing and metal clamp systems to develop more flexible solutions for fluid-delivery lines.
“The trend for engine downsizing puts pressure on auto engineers seeking room to install ever complex thermal-management assembly systems, as components compete for space in the engine bay,” said Brian Baleno, Head of Marketing–Transportation at Solvay Specialty Polymers. “Corrugated tubing made from Ryton PPS will significantly broaden the range of under-the-hood thermal-management applications, such as turbocharger exhaust gas recirculation circuits and ventilation and vacuum lines for fuel tanks, engine housings, and crankcase conveying vapor, gases, or condensates,” explained Baleno.
Ryton PPS retains thermal stability at temperatures up to 200°C (392°F), according to Solvay. The material also features dimensional stability at elevated temperatures and in harsh environments, mechanical strength, ductility, toughness, and chemical resistance, and it is inherently flame retardant.
“Developing a successful process to manufacture corrugated tubing from Solvay’s Ryton PPS demonstrates Maincor’s processing knowledge and technical expertise,” said Manuel Zink, Head of Sales Automotive/Home Appliances and Special Applications at Maincor Rohrsysteme GmbH. “We worked closely with Solvay to improve weight savings and production efficiencies and to reduce costs. Post-extrusion thermoforming trials ensured optimized tube geometries to fit available space in engine bays for time-saving component assembly,” added Zink.