Plastics News staff reporter Rhoda Miel wrote the following items from the Society of Automotive Engineers 2002 World Congress, held March 4-7 in Detroit.
Amodel resins see uses increasing
Solvay Advanced Polymers LLC is seeing increased use of its Amodel polyphthalamide resins, part of the product line that parent company Solvay SA acquired in late 2000 through a business swap with BP Amoco plc.
Amodel PPA has replaced an aluminum fuel-and-air rail in a two-cylinder engine on European motor scooters and is making an appearance in brake vacuum boosters produced by Delphi Automotive Systems Corp. and a thermostat housing on some versions of DaimlerChrysler AG's Jeep Liberty.
Delphi also is using the material in the throttle body of a marine outboard engine, an application that typically uses aluminum. The injection molded PPA costs about the same as the aluminum cast molding, but the plastics processing eliminates the need to machine the metal part to its final shape, the company noted.
Denso plastic pulley to replace steel one
Denso Corp. is launching production of a plastic pulley in an automotive air-conditioning compressor replacing a steel part.
The Kariya, Japan-based company had to develop a special phenolic material to meet all the performance needs of the component, executives said. With the resin now available, though, the supplier expects it can expand its use into other parts. The pulley goes into production later this year in Japan.
The phenolic pulley offers a 55 percent weight savings, important for a company looking at a multitiered push to reduce auto emissions.
``Denso continues its mission of reducing the environmental impact of the ... air-conditioning system by specifically targeting improvements in efficiency and weight which, in turn, reduce power consumption and ultimately decrease environmental impact,'' said Richard Smith, director of climate control engineering for Denso International America Inc.
Iso-Trude receives state training grant
Extruder Iso-Trude Inc. has a $50,000 grant from the state of Michigan to teach its 50 employees the process of lean manufacturing and other advanced production techniques.
The Grand Haven, Mich., company is a supplier to the automotive, office furniture, medical and construction industries. Iso-Trude ponied up $12,100 in matching funds for the program, which is provided through the state's Michigan Economic Development Corp. and its Economic Development Job Training Grant.
DuPont touts Vespel as metal alternative
DuPont is out to increase the exposure of its Vespel polyimide resins in the auto market, by stressing its recent injection moldable grades' capabilities to replace more metal in working parts.
Vespel already goes into a variety of bearings, bushings and rings, using the material's ability to withstand high temperatures and torque in applications requiring high performance demands. With the injection molding grades, introduced a little more than a year ago, processors can use it in more complex shapes, said Jeffrey Loudin, global marketing specialist for Vespel Parts & Shapes.
DuPont of Wilmington, Del., also is stressing the potential to overmold other materials with Vespel, such as using a thermoplastic elastomer to marry the high heat tolerances of the polyamid with the vibration control in a TPE.