At the recent K Show in Düsseldorf, Germany, Solvay launced Technyl REDx, a new heat performance polyamide (PA) 66) integrating a unique “smart molecule” self-reinforcement technology. The 35% glass fiber-reinforced material reportedly outperforms conventional specialty polymers in demanding thermal management systems, especially in the automotive industry.
|Mechanical properties of Technyl REDx tested after molding (initial) and after heat exposure at 220°C.|
|‘Smart molecule’ technology makes Technyl REDx ideal for highly demanding charge air coolers according to Solvay.|
“Today, more than 12 million engines use Technyl heat performance technologies. Our materials enable car manufacturers to overcome engine downsizing constraints, such as greatly increased temperatures and pressures,” says Dr. James Mitchell, Global Automotive Market Director for Solvay Engineering Plastics. However, “There is a need for new material solutions which resist the higher continuous heat stress of new generation engines without compromising on costs and performance,” he notes.
To address this challenge, Solvay developed Technyl REDx, a smart molecule material including a patented self-strengthening technology present in the polymer chain without affecting its structure. This new technology remains inactive during injection molding of car parts, leaving the material behaving like a high-flow PA66. During the vehicle’s use, the elevated temperatures activate the smart technology, leading to rapid cross-linking that boosts the mechanical properties far beyond their initial values.
Technyl REDx can also be processed at energy-saving mold temperatures below 100°C, allowing simple and cost efficient manufacturing. Ageing tests over 3000 hours at 220°C demonstrate very high retention property as well as tensile property gain of more than 50 percent, without degradation of elongation at break.
“By providing long-term thermal stability, superior processability and excellent surface aspect, Technyl REDx opens up completely new possibilities for high-heat applications with lower material and manufacturing costs,” explains Antoine Guiu, Technyl REDx Project Leader. “Intrinsically heat-friendly, Technyl REDx eliminates the need for heat shields that may be required when using conventional materials.”