DSM Engineering Plastics

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Meeting new automotive emissions standards in India

  • Anand Diwanji · Business Director, India – DSM Engineering Plastics

  • 6 June 2018

Around the world, governments are placing stricter regulations on emissions to combat climate change and its impacts. As home to many cities among those with the most air pollution, such as Delhi and the North Capital Region (NCR), India must take a proactive stance now to improve air quality – particularly since the country’s National Green Tribunal has declared clean air as a fundamental right.

India’s automotive industry is one of the largest in the world, and is in a state of transition. With increasing political stability, new regulations, rising consumer expectations and more competition, also comes changes to the ways that car manufacturers and suppliers conduct their business in India. Vehicle penetration is still relatively low compared with developed countries, making it an attractive market for global car manufacturers – and making it essential to have strict emissions regulations in place sooner rather than later.

First introduced by the Government of India in 2000, the Bharat stage emission standards (BSES) are based on European regulations to control the output of air pollutants from internal combustion engines and spark-ignition engines equipment, including motor vehicles. The initial roadmap saw the phased implementation of Bharat Stage (BS) IV norms across the country by April 2017, with BS V emission norms in 2020/2021, and BS VI norms from 2024. Due to the drastic rise in air pollution levels, the government has decided to skip the implementation of the BS V emission norms, and fast-track the introduction of the BS VI norms to 2020.

As OEMs and parts suppliers work tirelessly to achieve the stringent, government-regulated fuel consumption goals, they are facing new engineering challenges. Developing lightweight parts places greater demands on the materials used to fabricate them. It pushes designers to replicate functionality in new materials, and often to integrate a variety of functions into a single part. And it completely changes the production process.

Developing lightweight parts also takes a partner who sees these challenges as opportunities, and drivers of innovation. Your requirements should become the focal point for the development of new materials and technologies. As the automotive industry has steadily focused on creating lighter weight and more fuel efficient vehicles, innovative materials have played a major role in the development of lighter parts that don’t compromise on safety.

Engineering plastics like our Akulon® polyamide 6 (PA6) have been used for airbag containers in more than 120 million vehicles. With a 20-year history without a single failure, this material has helped the industry evolve from a metal airbag container that weighted 3.2 kilograms with 20 working parts, to a container weighing as little as 1.0 kilogram, made from Akulon with only five working parts. Engineering plastics like Arnite® are used in brake booster valves in more than 300 million vehicles  – without a single failure. And advanced materials like Stanyl® reduce frictional torque in timing chain systems by 10% within the critical engine speed range, equating to a fuel efficiency improvement of more than 0.4km/L.

Replacing metals in electric power steering (EPS) systems is one of the industry’s next big focus areas. We invented the Diablo technology – licensed to a number of other plastic suppliers – provides best-in-class thermal stability for parts exposed to high continuous use temperatures. And our new ForTii® Ace product provides high and linear mechanical performance up to 150°C with excellent chemical resistance, targeting metal replacement in applications that have proven too challenging, such as cross beam bridges, structural oil pans, long engine mounts, and various transmission components. R&D teams all over the world are developing materials that meet the most stringent UV tests of more than 3000 hours of exposure, for exterior applications like door handles. Today, all vehicles contain advanced engineering plastic materials, and 87% of all cars contain materials developed by DSM.

For car manufacturers working to meet stringent emissions targets, every fraction of a gram reduction in CO2 is extremely relevant. Ensure your material partner backs all of their material sales with the full support of their R&D, design and engineering teams, to ensure you can co-create the right solution for every application. Talk to us today about how we can help you meet your most extreme challenges in automotive.