Royal DSM has announced the development of a new high-temperature resistant grade of its Arnitel thermoplastic copolyester elastomer (TPC) for production of flexible hot charge air ducts used in turbocharged engines.
Arnitel HT will allow system suppliers to produce the ducts in a single material and using a single process step. The current standard practice is to assemble separate elements in hard thermoplastics or metal and soft thermosetting rubbers, which need to be produced in diverse operations. Switching to Arnitel HT will provide producers with a significant improvement in process efficiency, cost reductions of up to 50% and weight reduction of up to 40%.
Hot charge air ducts are common features in advanced petrol and diesel engines. They transfer hot compressed air from the turbocharger or the supercharger to the intercooler in a system that increases the efficiency of the engine by using higher operating pressures.
DSM states that thanks to Arnitel HT’s combination of elasticity with high mechanical strength it can be used to produce the entire duct in a single piece, using 3D suction blow molding. Wall thicknesses can be approximately halved.
“Ducts produced in Arnitel HT can withstand the internal operating pressures which are demanded by car producers, not only for models in production today but also for upcoming generations,” said Kurt Maschke, global segment manager air/ fuel at DSM. “And by using a single solution based on a material with excellent mechanical performance and a relatively low density in an optimized design, it is possible to obtain weight savings of as much as 40%.”
DSM has been able to build on previous successes in improving the long-term thermal stability of Arnitel. Other grades have already proven themselves in existing duct applications requiring good heat resistance.
One of the first producers of hot charge air ducts to take advantage of this new innovation is CIKAUTXO, headquartered in Spain, which has capability in production of rubber components and also in plastics blow molding and injection molding. The company worked together with DSM on the development of the first part in Arnitel HT, and exchanged valuable information for improvements in the material, processing, and part validation.
“We believe that Arnitel HT will enable us to make important cost reductions and increase consistency and reliability in our production of high performance ducts,” said Dr Gurmendi at CIKAUTXO. “Our new ability to make better optimized parts in a single step provides us with a tangible advantage in the market.”
June 23, 2016