ALPHARETTA, Ga., May 8, 2012 – Solvay Specialty Polymers, USA, LLC, a leading global supplier of high-performance thermoplastics for the automotive industry, is providing alternative material options to automotive tier suppliers and OEMs in the wake of a recent shortage of nylon 12 resin. “We’ve been working closely with key automotive suppliers to find alternative materials to nylon 12 to ensure that the industry can continue to run at current production levels,” explained Bill Gaines, Global Automotive Business Development Manager for Solvay Specialty Polymers.
Specifically, Solvay is offering to the market Amodel® polyphthalamide (PPA) and Ixef® polyarylamide (PARA) for key fuel line connectors and glycol connectors which were previously molded of nylon 12 resin. The company has provided suppliers with 3000- to 5000- hour data demonstrating the retention of mechanical properties of Amodel® PPA and Ixef® PARA in chemically aggressive environments such as fuel, glycol, and transmission fluid. Several large automotive companies have already converted from 23% glass-filled nylon 12 to Amodel® AT-6130 HS resin, according to Gaines.
Amodel® PPA is a semi-aromatic polyamide with greater thermal capabilities, better chemical resistance, and less sensitivity to moisture than conventional polyamides. Other key attributes are higher strength and stiffness at elevated temperatures and better retention of mechanical properties in high humidity. Amodel® PPA has been used in automotive, electronic, plumbing, and industrial applications for over 20 years. Ixef® PARA provides a unique combination of strength and aesthetics, making it ideal for complex parts that require both overall strength and a smooth surface.
The automotive industry has employed Amodel® PPA across a range of systems including heating and cooling, fuel systems, air induction, transmission, and automotive electronics. “The use of Amodel® PPA has been accelerating over the last five years as automotive designers seek materials to replace die cast aluminum parts,” said Brian Baleno, Global Amodel® PPA Product Manager for Solvay Specialty Polymers. “This is in an effort to reduce weight, thereby improving the overall fuel economy of their cars.” Amodel® PPA is also growing significantly in fuel systems where higher thermal requirements and better permeation are required to meet new evaporative emission standards, said Baleno.
Over the past five years, Amodel® PPA has replaced glass-filled nylon 12 in fuel line and glycol connectors where high temperature, improved permeation, and better chemical resistance are needed. Amodel® AT-6130 HS is a typical drop-in replacement for 23% glass-filled nylon 12. Besides fuel systems, Amodel® PPA is used in many structural components where fatigue and creep resistance are required. Due to the recent shortage of nylon 12 resin, several large global automotive companies have already converted their applications to Amodel® PPA.