Royal DSM, the global Life Sciences and Materials Sciences company, announces that light vehicles will be even lighter when they incorporate oil sumps injection molded in its Akulon® Ultraflow polyamide 6. The Peugeot 508 is the first vehicle to benefit from the new DSM solution, and more models will follow.
PSA and its road-driving customers are benefitting from a product that not only weighs less than a metal version, but also costs less to make and helps to lower fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions during the lifetime of the vehicle.
Oil sumps are ideal opportunities for engineering plastics among automotive applications, because they offer potential for significant weight reduction compared with traditional metal versions. But oil sumps also offer a considerable challenge for developers: their exposed position under the engine means that they have to withstand considerable mechanical stress caused by, for example, stones flying up from the road, and impacts from curb stones if the vehicle is driven off the road onto the pavement.
The French Tier One supplier Steep Plastique, in Saint-Maurice-de-Beynost, has succeeded in developing a sump that is 60% lighter than the metal version it replaces. Plus, thanks to the use of highly sophisticated computer simulation software that was developed by Steep specifically for the application, the sump passes some very demanding application tests at Steep and Peugeot, including a severe curb impact test, a stone impact test, and an engine drop test. It goes without saying that DSM’s Akulon Ultraflow polyamide 6 also has the necessary oil resistance for the application.
The grade used for the application is Akulon Ultraflow K-FHG7, a 35% glass reinforced, heat stabilized polyamide 6 with very good flow properties. It offers significant processing advantages compared to standard polyamide 6 products, while maintaining the required mechanical properties.“This is an important step forward,” says Ralph Ramaekers, Global Segment Manager, Powertrain, at DSM. “Bringing this project to a successful conclusion required a joint team effort by the experts of DSM and Steep, and a very deep understanding of the application requirements. We are pleased the part is now in production. DSM continues to target metal replacement in the engine compartment and in the car body.”
Eric Delachambre, Managing Director at Steep Plastique, says: “This important breakthrough demonstrates that DSM is developing the right materials to address the challenges the industry faces. Now, thanks to the significant improvements we have made in crash simulation, we will be able to make further progress in applications such as these, leading to vehicles with improved performance and reduced environmental impact.”
More information can be found at www.dsm.com/automotive and www.akulon.com.