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Under-hood Applications of Nylon Accelerate

SpecialChem / Oct 17, 2005

Nylon 6 and 66 polymers are playing a growing role in under-the-hood components for automobiles, where they are competing with the incumbent materials - metals and thermoset plastics. The popularity of nylon resins in the under-hood environment stems from several advantages they possess: resistance to high temperatures, oils and corrosive chemicals; great tensile strength and modulus; relatively light weight and low production costs; an attractive surface appearance; and the parts-consolidation possibilities they offer. The most common under-hood applications of nylon include engine covers, air intake manifolds, rocker covers, cooling and heating components and oil sump tanks. Most of the resins in these applications are reinforced with glass or mineral fibers, typically in the 20-40% range, in order to boost their strength. The polymers may also feature specialized chemistries to minimize their vulnerability to hydrolysis or oxidation and to maximize their heat resistance. Aesthetic considerations are very important in engine covers, so that nylon's ability to provide an attractive surface makes it a good fit for this application.

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