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Issue 01/2014

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Highlights: Automotive Foam Pharmafilter Land use

People Automotive PA 410

People Automotive PA 410 makes inroads into automotive market Polyamides based on renewable feedstocks are well suited for highperformance applications in the automotive industry, where OEMs are particularly keen to improve the sustainability of their operations and of their vehicles. DSM’s polyamide 410, trade named EcoPaXX ® , is 70% biobased derived from a renewable feedstock, castor oil. EcoPaXX has a very interesting property set: on the one hand it has mechanical properties such as stiffness and toughness that are similar to those of conventional aliphatic polyamides such as PA66, PA6; on the other hand, it has properties typical of long-chain polyamides such as PA610 and PA612: low moisture uptake, chemical- and hydrolysis resistance, and high thermal stability, for example. The main raw material of the polymer is sebacic acid, which is derived from castor plants, which can grow on semi-arid land in countries such as India, China and Brazil. EcoPaXX is carbon neutral from cradle-to-gate (see fig. 1), meaning that the carbon dioxide generated in producing the polymer is compensated by the carbon dioxide absorbed during plant growth. Polyamide 410 has a glass transition temperature, T g , of 70°C, a very high crystalline melting point, T m of 250°C, the highest of any bio-plastic, and a high crystallization rate. This results in a high tensile modulus in the dry state, close to that of PA66. Moreover, due to its low moisture uptake, the decrease of its tensile modulus after conditioning is limited. Its deflection temperature under load (DTUL or HDT-B ) is also impressive: 175°C under 0.45 MPa load. The material’s high melting point and rapid crystallization rate ensure short injection molding cycles. It also offers a broad processing window. Ideal for parts in engine compartments and exhaust systems Numerous automotive applications—notably engine compartment components—are increasingly subject to tougher specifications, be they in temperature resistance, dimensional stability or chemical resistance. EcoPaXX is a serious contender in such applications. The good hydrolysis resistance of EcoPaXX is important for several applications in engine compartment cooling systems: these include radiator & charge air cooler end caps, thermostat housings, water pump housings and impellers, water valves, coolant recovery tanks, and cooling water pipes. EcoPaXX provides a better/safer solution in cooling applications than current PA66 based applications, especially when temperatures increase above 130oC. Even at elevated temperatures, EcoPaXX resists everything from automotive liquids such as coolants, fuels, oil and grease to dilute acids, bases and detergents, to aqueous salt solutions such as calcium-and-zinc chloride. 18 bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/14] Vol. 9

Automotive EcoPaXX shows superior retention of mechanical properties upon ageing in CE10 and B30 biodiesel. For example, while stiffness and strength of 30% glass reinforced PA12 after 500 hours at 100°C in CE10 fuel is already at the level of an unfilled resin, performance of an equivalent reinforced EcoPaXX grade remains high for up to 1500 h. With its higher chemical resistance, EcoPaXX provides a better solution in AdBlue applications in SCR (selective catalytic reduction) systems than PA66 (see fig. 2), especially when temperatures increase to 80°C. AdBlue is a solution of urea in water used in SCR catalytic converters on diesel engines to break down hazardous nitrogen oxides (NOx) formed during combustion into nitrogen and water. DSM currently has five commercial injection molding grades of EcoPaXX: a general purpose, unfilled injection molding grade (Q150-D); two glass-reinforced types (30% and 50% respectively, Q-HG6 and Q-HG10) for use in applications where high stiffness and toughness are needed; a glass/mineral reinforced injection molding grade, especially suited for the injection molding of large parts which should have low warpage and excellent surface quality (Q-HGM24); and a halogen-free flame-retardant glass reinforced (30%) compound, with a UL 94 V-0 rating at 0.75 mm (Q-KGS6).Impact modified grades and grades with carbon fibre reinforcement are available for sampling. Proven applications Several interesting applications involving EcoPaXX have recently been commercialized. Mercedes-Benz, for example, chose EcoPaXX Q-HGM24, a glass/mineral reinforced injection molding grade, for the engine beauty cover of the latest version of its A-Class small family car (cf. bM 02/2013). The cover meets strict performance requirements and it provides good aesthetics. And even more, Mercedes Benz achieved its targets in reducing fuel consumption compared with the previous A-Class generation, as well as in reducing carbon footprint. Mercedes-Benz says production of an engine cover in EcoPaXX results in only around 40% of the quantity of carbon dioxide emissions that would be necessary in order to produce the same component from a conventional polyamide. Global Warming Potential** 120% 100% Retention of Ts [%] 80% 60% 40% 20% 0 PA66 PC ABS PA610 PA1010 PP Eco- PaXX Base polymers* Assessment method: IPCC 2007 GWP 100a *Sources: Ecolnvent database; external publications; DSM primary data. **All GWP values are normalized to the highest value. Fig. 1: Cradle to gate carbon footprint of several polymers 110 100 90 80 70 60 0 10 20 30 Time [Days] 40 PA410-GF30 PA410-GF40-I PA66-GF30 Fig. 2: Ts after AdBlue-ageing bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/14] Vol. 9 19

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