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Akulon®

DSM high-temperature plastics successfully replace metal in charge air cooler end cap application

Singapore, SG, 25 Sep 2017 12:30 CEST

Royal DSM, a global science-based company active in health, nutrition and materials, has partnered with leading automotive system supplier, Mahle GmbH, to replace metal end caps with high-heat-resistant plastics in charge air cooler (CAC) applications. This change has led to improved engine performance, better fuel efficiency and reduced system costs.
DSM high-temperature plastics successfully replace metal in charge air cooler end cap application

Metal end caps in CAC applications must withstand continuous temperatures up to 230°C, which limits the material choices. For this project, DSM leveraged its materials knowledge, paired with the application expertise of Stuttgart, Germany–based Mahle, to enable the use of DSM’s Stanyl® Diablo OCD2300 (a PA46 with 50% glass fiber) for Volkswagen’s Crafter light commercial vehicle.

Providing a sustainable advantage

OEMs and system suppliers seek to improve engine performance and fuel efficiency. High-heat thermoplastics, such as DSM’s Akulon® Diablo and Stanyl Diablo, meet and exceed these extreme requirements.

The VW Crafter project required a water-cooled charge air cooler mounted directly on the engine, resulting in shorter cold charge air ducts, leading to improved engine performance. Stanyl Diablo OCD2300 offers an excellent combination of high mechanical performance, long-term heat aging at extremely high temperatures and good chemical resistance which made it “the” choice for this application.

Jessica Wolf, Mahle Behr project manager for the Crafter ICAC, said: “For this project, we needed a material that could withstand continuous 230 °C with excellent creep and fatigue performance. Stanyl Diablo OCD2300 was a perfect fit for the requirements given by the OEM. The only back-up scenario was to design in metal, which would have higher costs and add significant weight.

Kurt Maschke, global marketing manager air management for DSM, said: “Our complete portfolio of high-temperature plastics, combined with DSM’s world-class technical support, allows us to serve customers with the best price/performance combination for extreme temperature requirements for all applications in the charge air system, such as charge air ducts, resonators, air intake manifolds and CAC end caps. For this project, Stanyl Diablo OCD2300 was the only material that could fulfill the OEM’s requirements.”

Offering a broad high-performance portfolio

DSM’s portfolio of high-performance materials for air-management applications - regardless if the vehicle has an air-to-air CAC or a liquid-cooled CAC - includes Akulon polyamide (PA6 and PA66), Akulon Diablo (PA66/6 and PA66), Stanyl (PA46), Stanyl Diablo (PA46), Xytron (PPS) and ForTii (PPA).

DSM engineered the Diablo technology specifically for extremely high continuous use temperatures and is available with different glass fiber contents. The latest grade - Stanyl Diablo HDT2700 - offers a best-in-class heat deflection temperature (HDT) under load of 267°C, which exceeds that of existing Stanyl Diablo grades. This material can deliver a 3,000 hour, continuous use temperature of up to 230°C, making it ideal for components such as welded air ducts, resonators and LCCAC integrated air intake manifolds where aging performance of the weldline is critical.

With its lower weight versus metal, Stanyl Diablo helps OEMs reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions, while retaining excellent tensile strength retention and impact resistance.

The excellent mechanical properties of the Stanyl Diablo and Akulon Diablo grades provide superb weld strength and ensure part integrity under pressure pulsation loads. These materials outperform competitive materials in terms of thermal oxidative stability, and in maintaining high stiffness at elevated temperatures and pressure loads.

As under the hood requirements become more extreme, especially for new developed engines to fulfill the EU7 requirements, Stanyl Diablo materials deliver not only robust performance, but also function integration and design flexibility while eliminating the need to return to metals. Stanyl provides up to 40% weight reduction versus aluminum, and its excellent processing characteristics reduce material and production costs.

Inventor of the Diablo technology

DSM is a market leader in the development of high-temperature-resistant thermoplastics for automotive engines. Diablo technology, invented and patented by DSM, improves the long-term temperature resistance of materials such as Stanyl PA46 and Akulon PA66. DSM licenses the Diablo technology to other high-temperature thermoplastics suppliers.