Solvay Engineering Plastics introduced new products for the automotive market during K 2013, with plenty of sample applications on hand to demonstrate their effectiveness. First up was a road-salt-resistant Technyl eXten grade which broadens the group’s portfolio for demanding automotive thermal management systems, targetted for vehicles in regions with extreme weather conditions.
Initially developed for Japanese and Korean carmakers, this new material demonstrates high chemical resistance to calcium chloride, the preferred road salt used in countries with lower freezing temperatures, such as Russia.
Valeo, a global player in the automotive industry, reportedly selected Technyl eXten because of its cost/performance ratio compared to metals or alternative plastics. The material obtained full approval after rigorous testing and will be used for radiator-end tanks in a future Renault-Nissan platform.
“With the continuing need to reduce engine emissions and fuel consumption, the objective in engine thermal management is focused on maintaining all engine components at their ideal operating temperatures from warm-up until full stop,” said Dr. G. de Pelsemaeker, R&D and Program Director for Valeo’s Thermal Systems Business Group. “In response, we are developing cooling systems able to manage the heat dissipation of increasingly complex engine components, while resisting to extreme driving conditions. Solvay Engineering Plastics supports us with a full range of Technyl materials and solutions improving the time to market of lightweight, energy efficient and increasingly compact, modular designs.”
Solvay Engineering Plastics offers a range of hydrolysis-resistant Technyl ‘34NG’ products ranging from 25 to 50% glass-reinforcement. They are specifically designed for every part in contact with glycol, such as radiator-end tanks, expansion tanks, thermostat housings and oil modules. In addition to assisting Tier one suppliers in the material selection and validation, Solvay Engineering Plastics also provides OEM-approved testing capabilities to validate parts.
“Building on the success of our historical position in providing pioneering materials for automotive cooling systems developed with major industry players, we are fully committed to pursuing our investment in product innovation to enable our customers create new solutions for thermal management applications,” said Peter Browning, Global Automotive Market Director for Solvay Engineering Plastics.
Also being discussed at the Solvay stand was a collaboration with TrelleborgVibracoustic, a specialist in automotive vibration control. The two firms have developed a faster way to design and develop thermoplastic engine mounts.
“When designing high performance engine mounts it is essential to provide our customers with products which offer greater endurance coupled with less weight, therefore we are constantly looking for lighter materials, replacing metals with plastics,” explains Ludovic Chauvet, Engineering Expert at TrelleborgVibracoustic.
“Our choice of utilizing MMI Technyl Design was determined by the quality of the material anisotropic data available for Technyl products. Building on the results, we developed a unique solution for designing and predicting the performance and manufacturing of structural components, while taking into account the production process,” he added. “Together with our FIAPLAST programme for mechanical dimensioning, this unique approach enabled us to decrease the mass of our customers’ engine mounts by 30 percent and reduce time to market.”
MMI Technyl Design is a service that Solvay Engineering Plastics “offers customers to meet the light-weight challenge.” It is supported by a comprehensive materials database and allows for a wide range of calculations when integrated with injection process modeling. The group describes it as “a powerful and high-performance solution allowing [the user] to accurately predict the performance of injection moulded parts made from Technyl materials and thereby significantly reduce the mass and cost of the applications, for which crash and fatigue resistance are key requirements.”
The first applications developed by TrelleborgVibracoustic for engine mounts with significantly reduced mass were at Peugeot-Citroën for its 3-cylinder engines. Today, applications can also be found at Renault-Nissan on some Renault, Nissan and Dacia models. By 2016, TrelleborgVibracoustic will reportedly be producing several million thermoplastic engine mount components annually.
“For the past several years, our specialist teams and our advanced services such as MMI Technyl Design have been pushing the boundaries of metal replacement in the engine compartment,” said Peter Browning, Global Automotive Market Director at Solvay Engineering Plastics. “We are proud of our partnerships with automotive manufacturers and their suppliers being able to help them create value at each production phase from design through to industrialisation.”