General Motors’ use of DuPont™ Zytel® PLUS nylon for its Ecotec 2.0-liter turbo powering Cadillac CTS vehicles captured the ‘Most Innovative Use of Plastics” Award in the Materials category from the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) Automotive Division.
The award-winning engine-appearance and acoustic cover is molded by Camoplast Polymer Solutions, Richmond, Quebec, Canada.
Accepting the award for General Motors was Shawn Owen, lead design engineer – GM Air Delivery and Engine Covers.
“It took GM just 90 days from our product launch to capitalize on this remarkable material,” said Terry Cressy, DuPont Automotive OEM executive account manager. “The speed with which this innovative material was adopted shows how powerful collaboration can be in bringing innovation to market quickly and cost effectively.”
Introduced in March, 2010, the family of DuPont™ Zytel® PLUS nylon products grabbed the industry’s attention for its ability to provide the kind of long-term protection against aggressive environments that can double the life of a component.
For this application, Zytel® PLUS nylon was selected because it retains its mechanical properties and great surface appearance despite long-term exposure to hot temperatures – 180°C and above – common in turbo-charged engines. “It even likes 210°C,” added Cressy.
Camoplast Polymer Solutions, which specializes in molding automotive under the hood components such as engine covers, reservoirs, ducts and air induction systems, identified advantages in processing, aesthetics and dimensional stability after using new Zytel® PLUS nylon. “There is no complexity in molding with this material,” said Omar Khennache, Ph.D., program manager – Materials, Camoplast Polymer Solutions.
“Despite the 35 percent glass content, this part retains a high-gloss, uniform appearance, which is critical in engine beauty covers, and held its dimensions, a critical factor in helping ensure that large components like this can be assembled efficiently and accurately.”
“We developed this family – and the new family of Zytel® HTN92 Series PPA resins – to meet the industry’s need for a portfolio of lightweight materials they can use to eliminate metal while helping to ensure that components will last the service life of the vehicle,” said Patrick Ferronato, global marketing director – DuPont Automotive Performance Polymers. “Today’s engines create more demanding environments and each component and system faces a different formulation of “chemical cocktail” or a different load at temperature – one material can’t do it all.”
Currently DuPont Automotive offers five Zytel® PLUS nylon grades and now two grades of Zytel® HTN92 Series resins based on DuPont™ SHIELD Technology, which combines several innovations, including a new polymer backbone, polymer modifications and a special set of additives, to enhance many performance characteristics.
This family can stand up to long-term exposure to hot oil, calcium chloride, impact after aging and temperatures as high as 230°C, making them desirable for automotive engine and oil system applications, such as: charge air coolers, exhaust mufflers, turbo air ducts, resonators, cylinder head covers, oil pans, EGR coolers, oil modules, thermostats, and transmission components, such as front covers and radiator end tanks where calcium chloride resistance is especially important due to road treatments.
For four decades, the Society of Plastics Engineers has honored the "Most Innovative Use of Plastics" in automotive and ground-transportation applications, becoming the largest competition of its kind in the world and the oldest and largest recognition event in the automotive and plastics industries.