Global carmakers testing plastics for VOC emissions

By Rhoda Miel
News Editor

Published: October 9, 2013 8:02 pm ET
Updated: October 9, 2013 8:03 pm ET

Related to this story

Topics Automotive, Materials, Materials Suppliers

TROY, MICH. — With South Korea, China and Japan developing regulations that would oversee auto interior air quality, and a proposal for global vehicle air quality rates, automakers are looking to develop standard testing systems.

Right now, individual carmakers in most markets have their own individual testing systems to look for volatile organic compounds released through outgassing of new parts and materials during a car’s early lifecycle, said Mark Polster, an emissions specialist with Ford Motor Co., during the Society of Plastics Engineers Automotive Thermoplastic Polyolefin conference in Troy Oct. 7-9.

The VOCs are part of what is commonly referred to as the “new car smell” and have raised environmental concerns about what harm they may pose to the buyers and passengers of new vehicles. The levels decrease significantly after the car’s first few months in use.

China is considering regulating the emissions by 2016, while South Korea’s standards are set to go into effect by July. South Korea has also recommended global regulations through the United Nations on vehicle interior air quality, although that process is in its early stages.

At this point, Polster said, North American-made cars would easily pass requirements, but without a standard way of testing vehicles or standard levels required for air quality, testing could add complexity and cost to new car development.

Typically, testers air out a new car, then close all windows and vents for a period of time. After that time, they sample the air quality — but there are huge variations in how those studies are conducted, he said.

For example, South Korea tests vehicles after two hours, China tests after 16 hours. There are big changes in results on the same vehicle if it is tested immediately after it comes off the assembly line or if it has been on a dealer’s lot for two months or if the car has been in the sun or under cover, Polster said.

Dearborn, Mich.-based Ford can get different responses at its test facilities based on when and how a car is tested.

“We want regulators to know that there’s a lot of difference and a lot of variability depending on how you test,” he said.

The whole system of interior air quality testing is still so new that the industry cannot yet point to exactly what parts are responsible for which emissions, Polster said. Formaldahyde emissions could be leaching from plastics during oxidization, specific materials or even adhesives and sealants used during production.


Comments

Global carmakers testing plastics for VOC emissions

By Rhoda Miel
News Editor

Published: October 9, 2013 8:02 pm ET
Updated: October 9, 2013 8:03 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Styrolution will open new production late 2014

July 30, 2014 12:54 pm ET

Germany-based styrenic materials group, Styrolution, has announced it is expanding its facility in Ludwigshafen, Germany.    More

Unipex Group buys Ferguson Chemical Innovation

July 29, 2014 1:57 pm ET

Chemical distributor Unipex Group Inc. announced July 29 that it had purchased Ferguson Chemical Innovation, a Brampton, Ontario-based supplier of...    More

Image

Magna expanding interiors site in Slovakia

July 29, 2014 1:47 pm ET

Magna International Inc. plans to nearly double the size of its manufacturing facility in Trnava, in western Slovakia, to accommodate new automotive...    More

Image

Carbon black supplier Orion begins trading on NYSE

July 29, 2014 11:29 am ET

Orion Engineered Carbons S.a.r.l. has priced the initial public offering of 19.5 million common shares at a price to the public of $18 per share.    More

Image

Dow sees solid second quarter performance

July 29, 2014 11:19 am ET

Dow Chemical Co. has reported its second quarter figures, with its seventh consecutive quarter of growth, according to the company.
More

Market Reports

Pipe, Profile & Tubing Extrusion in North America 2014

U.S. demand for extruded plastics is expected to grow by 3 percent in 2014, with PVC remaining the largest segment.

Plastic pipe will post the strongest gains through 2018, continuing to take market share from competing materials in a range of markets.

Our latest market report provides in-depth analysis of current trends and their financial impact on the pipe, profile and tubing extrusion industry in North America.

Learn more

2014 Injection Molding Industry Report

GROWTH, OPPORTUNITY IN SIGHT FOR INJECTION MOLDERS IN 2014

In the wake of the economic turbulence earlier in this decade, molders today find themselves in much better shape. Molders are gaining a competitive advantage by investing in people, equipment and seeking inroads into new markets on a global scale.

Growth in the injection molding industry is going to be driven by low financing costs and a continued move to reshore some business.

Learn more

Shale Gas Market - Analysis of North American Region

This report highlights the impact of shale-based natural gas on the North American plastics market and features an in-depth analysis of production trends in the United States during 2013 and a forecast for 2014 and beyond.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events