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Engine Covers

When looking for a truly original, sustainable – and good-looking - material for engine covers in the new Mercedes-Benz A-class, the auto giant chose a material that produces just 40% of the carbon dioxide of traditional chemical-based materials. EcoPaXX™ is a super-light, bio-based polyamide 410 made principally from castor beans - providing the perfect marriage of form and function…  
Person pointing to an engine cover held by another person

Mercedes chose EcoPaXX Q-HGM24 for a combination of heat resistance, low warpage and high dimensional stability and great aesthetics.

Most importantly the engine cover - used on turbo-powered petrol-engine versions of the new A-Class - needed to perform in temperatures of up to 200°C. EcoPaXX has met this challenge through a deflection temperature under 1.8 MPa load (DTUL) of 200°C.

Meanwhile the reduced weight of the material has enabled the design of an engine cover that can resist high dynamic loads of engine vibrations. In fact the beauty cover weighs just 1.320kg yet…can survive continuous-use temperatures of 200°C, with short-term peaks of 235°C. This in turn has helped Mercedes-Benz achieve a 26 percent fuel consumption improvement based on previous models.

But the EcoPaxx-based beauty cover doesn’t just perform well. It also looks good – which of course is essential, being the most visible component in the engine compartment.

Material for life

Made from 70% non-food chain competitive castor beans, EcoPaXX is certified 100% carbon neutral rom cradle to gate. That means the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by EcoPaXX is offset by the amount absorbed in plant growth.

In fact Mercedes-Benz states in the Life Cycle Environmental Certificate for the A-Class that production of an engine cover in bio-based polyamide results in only around 40% of the quantity of carbon dioxide emissions needed to produce the same component from a conventional polyamide. Says the report. “This technology makes a significant contribution towards climate protection.”

BBP Kunststoffwerk Marbach Baier GmbH is the supplier for the engine cover.