Benefits of collaborating on automotive plastic part design

Tata Toyo’s adoption of DuPont™ Zytel® PLUS nylon for several charge air coolers for vehicles manufactured by a major Indian automotive OEM illustrates the material’s performance and the benefits of collaborating on automotive plastic part design with a global materials-science company like DuPont.

Tata Toyo’s adoption of DuPont™ Zytel® PLUS nylon for several charge air coolers for vehicles manufactured by a major Indian automotive OEM illustrates the material’s performance and the benefits of collaborating on automotive plastic part design with a global materials-science company like DuPont.

The three hot- and cold-side charge air coolers are used on four vehicles in the passenger car, utility vehicle and light commercial vehicle segments.

Tata Toyo, a leading heat-exchange technology supplier based in Pune, India, selected Zytel® PLUS to replace specialty nylon resin product for added protection against the harsh elements associated with turbo-diesel systems and now has an eye on replacing metals in other automotive plastic part designs.

Charge air coolers quickly cool hot air generated by the turbocharger before it is forced through the induction system. Cooler air improves combustion efficiency.

“Improving powertrain efficiency while reducing weight and cost is critical to improving fuel economy and reducing dependence on fossil fuels,” said Patrick Ferronato, director of automotive, DuPont Performance Polymers. “Turbo systems are one of several technologies the industry is quickly adopting to boost the performance of smaller, more efficient engines. The environment these power-boost technologies create is challenging the capabilities of many existing engineering thermoplastics.”

Last year DuPont introduced the family of high-performance nylon and PPA materials that deliver long-term resistance to heat, chemicals and pressure. Unlike specialty nylon resins, Zytel® PLUS retains processing ease typical of traditional nylon resins. This family is targeted primarily at automotive underhood and engine part design.
Zytel® PLUS nylon was selected as a replacement to the specialty nylon because it retains rigidity at high temperatures, offers a better surface appearance and processes with ease. “We enjoy a long-term relationship with Tata Toyo,” said Avinash Malshe, industry manager, DuPont Performance Polymers Automotive — India. “When we introduced them to the new materials, they quickly saw the chance to think about where they can use them to deliver better performance and cost. While collaborating, we found more opportunities to capture significant weight savings by replacing metal components and systems.”

Collaborating on automotive plastic part design is critical to fast adoption of new technologies that reduce dependence on fossil fuels. DuPont this year invested in several new collaboration facilities, including the India Innovation Center in Pune, India. The facility is focused primarily on the automotive segment with a goal of connecting globally on materials and solutions that improve sustainability, performance, safety, comfort and design while reducing weight and enabling alternative-drive vehicle systems.

DuPont last year launched more than 1,700 new products and invested 22 percent of its $1.7 billion R&D budget on developing new chemistry and materials to reduce dependence on fossil fuels.