The heat is on: Thermal management for tomorrow’s mobility
The automotive sector is in the midst of massive change, with the market for hybrid, pure electric and hydrogen vehicles expected to shoot up by 400% by 2025. At the same time, vehicle makers continue to push the boundaries of traditional powertrain technology to meet ever stricter standards, by down-sizing engines and raising efficiencies with improved electronic systems.
In their never-ending quest to lower weight and raise performance, carmakers are seeking innovative metal replacement components capable of withstanding high temperatures, including for turbo systems, increasingly the standard for diesel and gasoline engines. Both the internal combustion and alternative fuel technologies require parts and components capable of withstanding high temperatures and corrosive chemicals.
“Our innovative applications for thermal management and cooling are helping automakers to raise their game in terms of electric, hybrid and turbo performance,” says Didier CHOMIER, Automotive Global Marketing Manager for Solvay’s Performance Polyamides Global Business Unit. “Thermal management of next-generation vehicle technology is becoming more complex, due to many new, independent systems and components and we are developing partnerships with OEMs to provide for these applications.”
The Technyl® Blue range of heat stabilized materials for automotive thermal management combines superior hydrolysis and thermal ageing performance in the presence of aggressive coolants. Offering 15% to 60% enhanced hydrolysis resistance versus standard polyamides 66 (PA66), Technyl® Blue is the product of choice for components in cooling circuit applications such as radiator end tanks, oil filter housings/modules and exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) heat exchangers.
Major global automotive OEMs and tier 1 suppliers already trust Technyl® Blue and are currently evaluating these materials for highly demanding components such as active cooling valves and e-water pumps, as well as battery cooling and e-motor cooling applications. And the new Technyl® eXten bio-sourced polyamide offers even higher levels of mechanical/tensile strength, improved salt resistance, and better dimensional stability.
For the challenging high temperature requirements of charge air cooler and turbo air ducts, the Technyl® Red line products are recommended for all engine components operating above 180°C, providing enhanced thermal ageing stability without compromising performance.
Moreover, OEM expectations in terms of polymer’s thermal resistance properties are now being reviewed to better fit with real operating temperatures in order to avoid over-spending and issues due to material brittleness. In response to these specific auto industry needs, Solvay developed a new top-of-the-range application, Technyl® RED J, launched at ChinaPlas 2018.
The superior property profile of Technyl® Red J targets applications such as air intake manifolds, charge air coolers, turbo air ducts, resonators, cylinder head and engine covers, and has been designed to add significant additional heat performance benefits.
Performance and savings
CHOMIER points to good market responsiveness for both Performance Polyamide ranges. “Customers are showing great interest in both the new Technyl® Blue and Red offerings, as they look to raise their competitive position,” he says. “And it’s not just performance, but our products also offer significant part cost savings over traditional polymers.”