DuPont (Troy, MI) materials, design and development support were featured in two automotive components honored at the 44th Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) Automotive Innovation Awards Competition & Gala recently in Livonia, MI.
|3-meter long cooling tube molded from polyamide resin wins Most Innovative Use of Plastics.|
|Constant velocity joint boots made of thermoplastic polyester elastomer have been in use since 1984.|
"This industry is all about collaborating to bring innovation to market," said Patrick E. Lindner, DuPont Performance Polymers president. "The fact that we were named in both a new innovation and a Hall of Fame innovation shows the strength that an advanced materials company with a long history in the industry can bring. This is especially important as the industry examines every component and every system for ways to reduce weight and improve efficiencies."
Renault's Twingo uses two tubes, the longest of which is three meters (10 feet), to transfer water and glycol from the radiator in the front to the engine in the rear. The challenge for system supplier and molder Tristone Flowtech Group (Frankfurt, Germany), was to find a lightweight material/technology solution for the large-diameter, long tubes that needed to resist three bar pressures, aggressive fluids and road salt all while bending through the vehicle system to meet packaging requirements. This is where DuPont advanced materials combined with DuPont's patented Variable Stiffness Bellows (VSB) technology helped enable the thermoplastic parts to be flexible yet high-pressure resistant and ultimately take 60 percent of the weight out of the system previously made of aluminum.
The Hall of Fame award is given to one component in continuous production for at least 15 years that has made a significant and lasting contribution to the application of plastics in automobiles. General Motors in 1984 was the first to use this year's recipient - CVJ boots made of Hytrel. The inherent wear resistance and flexibility of Hytrel significantly improved the durability of CVJ boots, which protect a vehicle's rotating shaft from road debris and axle grease. Today, 85 percent of front-axle CVJ boot seals on light-duty vehicles worldwide use thermoplastic polyester elastomer in this application. Development of the inaugural program was a co-operative team from GM, Nexteer Automotive, formerly GM Saginaw Steering Gear Division, ABC Group and DuPont.