The need to cut carbon emissions and make vehicles more fuel (and cost) efficient has never been greater – not just in petroleum-based vehicles, but increasingly in electric and hybrid vehicles. Our family of engineering plastics is changing not only the anatomy of the car but its very composition thanks to a broad range of properties ranging from low creep and outstanding mechanical performance to high-heat resistance - a crucial point, as next generation engines get smaller, and therefore hotter.
So how are our materials making a difference in weight reduction?
The new Mercedes S-Class w BPP is not only one of the world’s most luxurious cars; it features an oil pan based on our high flow polyamide 6, Akulon® Ultraflow that is 50% lighter than its metal equivalent.
Carbon emissions are another major challenge for the industry – not least because the EU now imposes a €100 fine for every gram of excess carbon emitted per car. Friction reduction is a very efficient way to reduce emissions: with our Stanyl® polyamide 46 in the timing chain system, you get the least friction of all plastics and thus reduce fuel consumption by up to 1%.
Another key way of creating a greener car is by using bio-based materials. For example, our EcoPaXX® material is a carbon neutral polyamide 410 that’s 70% bio-renewable (made from castor beans) – yet delivers performance equal to or better than metals and other plastics.
Which is why major manufacturers like Daimler use EcoPaXX in their engine cover and Volkswagen are using the material for applications like crankshaft covers.
We’re also co-developing applications for starters, alternators, batteries and electro-motors in hybrid and electric cars.
Air management systems
Our materials are increasingly being specified for air management systems thanks to their high heat resistance in applications that range from air inlet manifolds, to engine covers, and from turbo resonators, to hot and cold air ducts. For these key applications our Stanyl Diablo polyamides meets all performance criteria at continuous-use temperatures over 220°C.
So how bright does the future look? We’re now focusing on new areas of innovation like Electronic Power Steering (EPS) systems; as well as a new generation of advanced thermoplastic composites for chassis and body parts. And not just in traditional cars.
Increasingly, when it comes to auto innovation our bright science has no boundaries.