Biobased Resins Score in Auto Applications
WEB EXCLUSIVE: Two renewably sourced engineering resins from DuPont Performance Polymers, Wilmington, Del., were featured at the 2011 SPE Automotive Innovation Awards in November.
WEB EXCLUSIVE: Two renewably sourced engineering resins from DuPont Performance Polymers, Wilmington, Del., were featured at the 2011 SPE Automotive Innovation Awards in November. Both applications demonstrate technical and economic advantages, in addition to environmental benefits.
One was the first automotive application for DuPont’s new nylon 1010, commercialized in 2010 as Zytel RS. The application that won the award in the Environmental category was diesel and biodiesel fuel lines for a number of Fiat cars. (The resin is also commercial in this application at other European automotive OEMs that do not wish to be identified.) Having 99% renewable content derived from castor beans, Zytel RSLC 1610 allows extrusion of monolayer fuel lines, whereas coextrusion of flexible nylon 11 or 12 with a fluoropolymer is common in the U.S. due to the aggressive nature of biodiesel. Nylon 1010 permits more economical monolayer fuel lines because it is more resistant to biodiesel and heat aging than nylon 11 or 12, according to DuPont. The Fiat fuel lines are extruded and post-formed with heat by Hutchinson SRL in Italy.
The world’s first commercial automotive application for DuPont’s Sorona EP PTT polyester is interior vent louver vanes for the Toyota Prius. The application earned finalist status in the Materials category. Sorona EP has 37% renewable content derived from fermentation of corn sugar. Sorona 2045G with 45% glass was chosen for its combination of surface appearance and mechanical properties—environmental benefits were not the primary driver. PTT allowed design of thinner vanes because it is stronger and stiffer than PBT or nylon 6 at similar glass loadings. Although PPT costs more than PBT, it cut costs for Toyota because it eliminated painting.