CHICAGO — Cytec Industries Inc. (Booths S1616, S1711) has supplied bulk molding compounds for thermoset valve covers for more than eight years — but two new developments could help the West Paterson, N.J., resin producer break into new territory. Cytec officials at Booth S1711 announced June 16 that Chrysler Corp. has adopted Cytec's polyester engineered BMC for use in valve covers for its 2.7-liter, V-6 engines in the 1998 line of LH chassis cars.
Previously, General Motors Corp. had championed the use of thermoset valve and other covers, producing more than 16 million cars using parts made from Cytec BMCs since 1989, Cytec officials said.
Chrysler's decision to adopt Cyglas compounds marks a first for the carmaker, which has not used thermosets for valve covers, according to Will Conner, automotive product manager for Cytec's polyester molding compounds division.
The LH valve cover is produced in Manchester, N.H., by Freudenberg-NOK.
Cytec hopes other carmakers take notice of its compound's performance under the hood.
``Valve covers are a growing market for thermosets,'' said John Pierce, director of sales for Cytec's polyester molding compounds. ``They offer lighter weight [compared to metals], without the problems with heat and creep associated with nylons.''
Cyglas valve covers weigh about 30 percent less than similar aluminum parts, according to Cytec.
While other suppliers offer similar BMCs, Cytec is banking on its experience with valve covers to help sway carmakers to its products.
``We've been doing it for close to 10 years,'' Pierce said. ``We have the techniques and expertise. Making valve covers is not like any other kind of molding.''
Cytec has not received any reports of part failures in the eight years its compounds have been used in GM cars, Conner said.
``We'll be the first to the finish line to the 10-year durability mark,'' Conner said.
Also new in Cytec's lineup is Cyglas Lite — a glass-reinforced, polyester molding compound 20 percent lighter than the firm's traditional Cyglas 695. Cytec also hopes to interest automakers in using its ``lite'' product for valve covers and other under-the-hood applications.
``A lot of development work has gone into the automotive sector because it's the one that's shown the interest in weight reduction,'' Conner said. He added that a Cyglas Lite part will weigh almost half as much as a similar aluminum part.
Cytec, which markets more than 4,000 chemicals and materials worldwide, reported $1.26 billion in 1996 sales.