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GM: For example in the

GM: For example in the field of electromobility consumers set great store on showing that they are doing good for the environment. Shouldn’t biomaterials offer the possibility of showing this particular property, i.e. of being ‘green’? Or is it still a ‘no-go’ to leave natural fibres openly visible in a car? TvL: For carbon fibre parts it is sexy to see the black fabric through the resin in an unpainted part. People want to see and show what high tech parts they have. We should take a similar approach. Make it visibly clear that we are using biobased materials — and be proud of it. Hans-Josef Endres and Tom von Löwis MT: And what comes next? HJE: In addition to the doors, fenders etc, we will look into three-dimensional parts such as mirror housings or parts of the dashboard. But here completely different thermoplastic processable bioplastics are needed. And even here we want to compete with petroleum-based materials in terms of quality, durability and cost. GM: Will all this also be suitable for mass production? We know from carbon fibre applications that it was not possible to convert the manufacturing processes easily to series production. Now we are getting there slowly, and step by step. HJE: Of course we see a chance here and this is a challenge. But we are only at the beginning of the development. In fact there are already quite a number of bioplastics in automotive applications today. These are parts in the interior such as hatracks, spare-wheel covers or parts of the instrument panel. All these can be manufactured with existing mass production techniques. However, most of these parts are invisible or covered. One of the next steps is to make exterior parts and visible parts. GM: Let’s talk about money. The OEMs and sub-suppliers are always interested in the cost factor. I assume these new materials are not cheaper than the conventional ones, otherwise the automotive industry would be applying them already. HJE: Well, you should not only look at the raw material cost but at the complete system. If we consider for example the ‘end of life’, we know that in waste incineration glass fibres would create ash. Natural fibres, however, don’t leave behind so much ash but contribute to what we call ‘renewable energy’. If we look at the processing we see that glass fibres are more abrasive, whereas natural fibres are not abrasive. Thus the life-time of tools and dies is much longer. MT: In addition it can be observed that the cost of traditional plastics is rising with the increasing price of oil. So biobased plastics will become competitive in the mid to long term, and not only via economies of scale with larger production capacities. But after all this talking about materials and renewable resources, there is one more important target for Tom von Löwis and his team: They want to drive and win races with their BioConcept Car. Good luck for the coming season! 1: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Hans Josef Endres, IfBB, Institute for Bioplastics and Biocomposites, University Hanover, Germany. Supported by the FNR (Agency for Renewable Resources within the German Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection) the IfBB will assist Four Motors to develop more and more components made from biobased materials (natural fibres and bioplastics) for the BioConcept Car. 2: We are grateful to Guido Marschall and for the permission to publish parts of their ‘auto-talk’ interview of Dec. 13th 2011. Covergirl Christine also took a ride in the Bio-Rocco. She said: “Amazing, a ‘green car’ in the’green hell’ and with more biobased plastic parts it becomes even greener.” 12 bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/12] Vol. 7

Automotive Photo: DuPont Fuel line made of bio-PA 1010 The fluid transfer system supplier Hutchinson SRL, of Rivoli, Italy, has specified a DuPont Zytel ® RS polyamide grade based on PA 1010 for the production of fuel lines used with both diesel and biodiesel. The renewably-sourced long-chain nylon was chosen in preference to competitive grades of PA12 on the basis of its superior temperature resistance and long-term aging performance in biodiesel. The extruded, monolayer fuel line from Hutchinson is already in use on commercial new turbo and multijet diesel engines used on several Fiat vehicles, including the Fiat 500, Panda, Punto, Lancia Delta, Alfa Romeo MiTo and Giulietta. As well as seeking to increase the use of renewablysourced polymers to reduce dependence on fossil fuels, automotive manufacturers, OEMs and materials suppliers are modifying engine and fuel systems to run efficiently on the latest generation of biofuels, including biodiesel. Components for such systems must resist the chemicallyaggressive biofuels, temperature extremes and mechanical stresses for the lifetime of the vehicle. This specific Zytel RS grade based on PA1010, which contains more than 60% renewably sourced ingredient by weight, offers properties typical of flexible polyamides with additional benefits such as superior high temperature resistance when compared to materials such as PA 12, high chemical resistance and low permeability to fuel and gases. It is suitable for a range of extrusion applications including fuel lines, hydraulic hoses, corrugated tubes, transmission oil cooler hoses and pneumatic tubes. “We were seeking a polymer for our fuel line application that was preferably renewably-sourced, for a more sustainable solution, and was able to provide the best aging stability in biodiesel,” explains Katia Rossi, development manager at Hutchinson. “We considered a number of flexible polyamides, including PA12 as they had previously been specified for similar fuel line systems, but material testing showed Zytel RS PA1010 to meet our requirements. It combines, for example, superior temperature resistance to PA12 with the best resistance to biodiesel at high temperatures.” Data on aging performance in biodiesel was obtained by immersing the materials in the most common biodiesel – rapeseed methyl ester (RME) – at 125 °C (257 °F) for 1,000 hours and measuring retained mechanical properties. The B30 biodiesel used for testing is made up of 30% biofuel from rapeseed and recycled vegetable oil and 70% standard diesel and is suitable for many diesel cars. By specifying the DuPont material for its fuel line for diesel engines, Hutchinson gains a longer-lasting solution that is also market leading in terms of its renewably-sourced content. “With more than 60% by weight, this Zytel RS grade based on PA1010 has one of the highest levels of renewablysourced content currently available for a high performance nylon,” confirms Mario Delbosco, development programs manager at DuPont Performance Polymers. The renewable carbon in PA1010 comes from sebacic acid, which in turn is derived from castor oil. The successful adoption of renewably-sourced Zytel nylon for the fuel line, which is already in commercial use on diesel-engined cars, has encouraged Hutchinson to extend the application to other automotive manufacturers in Europe and beyond as well as other fuel system applications. bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/12] Vol. 7 13

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