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Automotive Under-the-Hood Engineered Plastics Advances

SpecialChem / Donald Rosato – Jan 9, 2012

Engineered plastics play a major role in today's automotive vehicles. To meet the ambitious latest U.S. government mileage targets they've agreed to U.S. automakers are considering every avenue of part redesign and consolidation, including most recently a renewed interest in automotive under-the-hood metal to plastics conversions. Newly launched Zytel Plus nylon 66 from DuPont Engineering Plastics significantly extends the performance life of under-the-hood components. The material enables further high-performance plastics replacement of metals for vehicle lightweighting. The excellent long-term temperature and chemical resistance of the new, high-flow Zytel PLUS nylons means that they can cost-effectively fill the wide gap between standard nylons and many typical high performance thermoplastics such as PPA (polyphthalamide), PA46 (nylon 46) and PPS (polyphenylene sulfide).

Zytel Plus nylons combine the positive attributes of conventional nylon resins with superior long-term resistance to challenging environments. It also offers a lifetime for certain engine compartment components that can be doubled compared to those made of standard, heat-stabilized nylon. BASF's latest polyamide specialty grade Ultramid Endure is a glass-fiber reinforced PA 66 (nylon) that combines outstanding resistance to heat aging with the good processability of PA 66. High heat-aging resistance, the significant improvement in heat aging resistance is achieved through advanced stabilization technology development. BASF Ultramid Endure exhibits the formation of a protective surface layer even at temperatures of 220 °C that provides continuous protection against Oxygen attack. It also performs exceptionally well in terms of toughness and strength.

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