Lightweighting – Metal to Plastic ….
One of the mega trends in the Automotive industry for the last few decades has been “Lightweighting”. It is one of the ways Engineers can improve performance while delivering high fuel efficiency needed to meet the ever stringent emission regulations.
Polymer and car manufacturers have been working on replacing metal components with thermoplastic, apart from weight reduction in most cases such conversion can also result in component cost reduction.
The average car already has over 300 lbs of thermoplastic components ranging from bumpers to interior trim components. Experts and analysts predict that the use of thermoplastics is scheduled to double in the next 5 years.
All major polymer manufacturers are now focused on replacing “critical to function” components that require the use of high performance thermoplastic resins.
Solvay’s Ryton (PPS) passes compatibility with low viscosity ATF fluids ..
Stringent fuel economy and emission regulations are driving increasing use of ultra-low viscosity ATF fluids in the automotive transmission systems.
Over 40 percent of new passenger cars in the U.S. use low viscosity ATF and experts predict that by 2022 that number is expected to be almost 75 percent. Low viscosity ATF offers a number of advantages over high viscosity ATF:
- Better fluid flow—Lower viscosity improves transmission efficiency by reducing related power loss.
- Better shear stability—Lower viscosity improves resistance to fluid breakdown due to shear. Film thickness is properly maintained and viscosity remains stable over time.
- Better technology— Improved chemistry leads to better durability and potentially longer drain intervals.
To realize the benefits of the low viscosity ATF fluids, the high performance thermoplastics need to pass stringent compatibility testing, typically at high temperatures.
Solvay reported that their line on PPS resins that are sold under the trade name of Ryton® passed a wide variety of compatibility tests in most commonly used ATF fluids at the CTI symposium in Novi, MI. Solvay added that several grades of its Ryton® polyphenylene sulfide (PPS) polymers were found to be compatible with Ford’s ultra-low viscosity ULV 25 automatic transmission fluid (ATF).
Samples of Ryton® R-4-200BL, XE-5030 and XK2340 PPS were tested after set periods of exposure to ATF ULV 25 at 150°C (302°F) that extended as long as 3,000 hours. Samples of Ryton® R-7-190 PPS were tested after the same durations of exposure to Ford’s ATF and at the same temperature, with the maximum exposure time reaching 1,500 hours.
In related news EATON PACCS system which replaced Aluminum with high performance Nylon for the air conditioning system, the system delivers over 50 percent reduction in weight.
The author, KetanDeshpande, lives in Minnesota and writes about a variety of topics in his blog such as global economy, market and industry trends, successful strategies for businesses, and others. Leveraging his global strategic leadership experience from the manufacturing industry to offer insights in to how businesses can meet the sustainable growth and profitability goals.
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Written by Ketan Deshpande of MN also known as Ketan Deshpande of Minnesota