Engineering plastics are key enablers for weight reduction in automobiles. In particular, they come to the fore in underhood applications where they replace heavier metal components. New high-heat polyamide grades from DSM Engineering Plastics (Sittard-Geleen, the Netherlands) that will be debuted at the K Show in Düsseldorf, Germany this October promise to deliver improved performance at elevated temperature.
|High-heat resins help out in hot situations on the road.|
One of the new grades is Stanyl Diablo OCD2300, a high heat PA46 material developed specifically to meet the need for long term temperature resistance at elevated temperatures. By limiting thermal oxidative breakdown, the resin can withstand more than 3000 hours at aging temperatures of 230°C before its tensile strength is less than half of its initial value.
Requirements for underhood applications are changing constantly according to DSM. Environmental requirements, EURO V and VI legislation and the call for reduced fuel consumption have resulted in significant changes such as the use of smaller engines with higher turbo pressures and EGR (exhaust gas recirculation). As a consequence, automobile components such as air ducts, air-intake manifolds, and charge-air cooler end-caps are exposed to continuously rising operating temperatures. With increasingly critical temperature and tougher lifetime requirements, long-term service life of components made from current thermoplastics can be at risk, says DSM. It claims that Stanyl Diablo OCD2300 is currently the only high performance PA that can withstand these temperatures whilst offering better mechanical properties than other high performance polymers for these types of applications.
Stanyl Diablo OCD2300 was recently tested, validated and released by a German OEM for use in application up to 230°C CUT (continuous use temperature), where key applications include resonators, hot charge air ducts and charge air cooler end-caps. Christian Kilgus, business development manager for DSM Engineering Plastics says that besides high temperature stability, weldability, weld strength and the weld's long term heat stability also outperform current high heat resins, while processing is also easy. During injection molding, tool temperatures of 80°C and melt temperatures around 300°C are normally used.
The second material to be released at K is Akulon Diablo, a high-heat PA6 material developed specifically for use in air/fuel systems, which may be subject to temperatures of up to 210°C continuous use, even 230°C over shorter periods. —Stephen Moore