Plastics in the powertrain
Engineering plastics have the potential to truly change the nature of powertrain components – for the benefit of manufacturers and drivers alike. Today our thermoplastics are addressing a range of trends including friction reduction, weight reduction, and high heat performance (the result of downsized engines).
The fight for fuel economy has never been greater. Reduced carbon emissions are good for the planet – and increasingly good for the wallet of manufacturers as CO2-based penalties and incentives around the world increase.
Downsizing from large engines to smaller engines (for example from 2 litre to 1litre) is a key way of achieving this. Downspeeding - where the engine operates at lower RPMs - is another.
In both cases thermoplastics like our Stanyl® polyamide 46 are ideal for metal replacement because of their ability to perform in the extreme heat of under-the-hood applications. In fact, in downsized turbo-charged engines Stanyl is proven to perform at temperatures of over 200°C.
Stanyl also helps counter the friction found in smaller engines. In valve timing systems, for example, it has been used successfully for 20 years because of its excellent wear resistance; and recently we found an additional reason to use it: Reduction of friction and resultant fuel emissions by 1%.
Elsewhere, our Akulon® polyamide 6 is enabling another key automotive trend – the creation of powertrain components that are lighter, tougher and easier to process. In oil sumps, for example, we have worked with some of the biggest names in the industry to reduce component weight by up to 40% versus conventional metals, creating a major saving in costs and fuel emissions.