Plastics News reporter Frank Esposito gathered these items during the SAE 2001 World Congress, held March 5-8 in Detroit.
BP Amoco Polymers touts Amodel nylon
BP Amoco Polymers is finding a new home for its Amodel-brand high-temperature nylon in a pair of anti-lock braking system applications.
TRW Chassis Systems is using Amodel in a coil integrated module for an ABS system, while Hi-Stat Manufacturing will produce ABS wheel-speed sensors made of the material.
"Most of what we're doing [with Amodel] is metal replacement, but we're starting to see some replacement of acetal and other engineering plastics," said James Doty, global automotive market manager for BP Amoco Polymers. "Amodel provides better permeability, lower moisture absorption and better dimensional stability."
A majority of Amodel sales are into automotive uses. BP Amoco Polymers, an Alpharetta, Ga.-based unit of BP Amoco plc of London, operates a 25 million-pound-per-year Amodel plant in Augusta, Ga.
Next up for Amodel are engine and powertrain applications, some of which could appear in North American vehicles in 2004 or 2005, Doty said.
Rogers promoting recycled phenolics
Rogers Corp. is revving up its marketing efforts for its recycled phenolic resins.
Rogers commercialized the resins, which can have up to 10 percent recycled content, at its Manchester, Conn., plant in 1997 and expects to produce as much as 300,000 pounds of the material this year. To date, its automotive uses have been in automatic-transmission parts, where it is replacing aluminum.
To encourage the program, customers can send phenolic parts back to Rogers to be recycled in the same containers Rogers used to ship the phenolic resin, said molding technology manager Craig McLea.
McLea added that Rogers is on track to use all of the 20,000-square-foot expansion it completed late last year in Manchester. The $10 million expansion — which allowed the Rogers, Conn.-based firm to add 45 full-time jobs — will be fully occupied later this year, instead of in 2002 or 2003 as first expected. Rogers has plenty of available land in Manchester for further growth, McLea said.
Impact absorber targets automotive
Hexcel Corp. launched production of its HexWeb EM-brand impact absorber in Casa Grande, Ariz., earlier this year.
The product, which is an energy-absorbing honeycomb made of spun-bond nylon and polyester, is being targeted at several automotive uses, including pillars and side rails, according to senior product manager John Porter.
HexWeb EM is significantly less expensive than aluminum and can enable automakers to meet difficult rollover safety criteria, Porter added.
In May, Stamford, Conn.-based Hexcel will begin commercial production of its Hexlite-brand bonded panels, which consist of two sheets of high density polyethylene around a sheet of metal for use in tonneau covers for pickup truck beds. Hexlite also will be produced in Casa Grande.