DETROIT (Oct. 18, 3:30 p.m. ET) — Italian auto supplier Hutchinson srl has launched production of a fuel line for diesel engines that uses a new DuPont bio-based plastic blend.
The Zytel RS polyamide 1010 has 60 percent of its content from sebacic acid, derived from castor oil. The material is extruded into a fuel line used on Fiat Auto SpA cars including the Fiat 500, Panda, Punto, Lancia Ypsilon and other vehicles using diesel or biodiesel fuels.
The part is also a finalist in the Society of Plastics Engineers 2011 Automotive Innovation awards, in the Environmental category.
Biodiesel fuels are more chemically aggressive than standard diesel, and yet must also stand up to temperature and mechanical stresses required in other fuel lines. In testing, Hutchinson, based in Rivoli, Italy, found that the PA1010 grade stood up to the requirements better than a competing PA12 material, DuPont said in an Oct. 18 news release.
The plastic tubing is also 20 percent lighter than metal.
Its successful use in fuel lines has prompted Rivoli, Italy-based Hutchinson to extend its use to other automakers and in other fuel system applications.