Issue: Nov 2010


Auto Industry Award Underscores Demand for DuPont Materials Innovation



Materials Help Reduce Fossil Fuel Dependence

by James Hilton

General Motors captured a significant innovation award from the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) for rapidly adopting a new DuPont lightweight plastic, helping underscore the important role of DuPont innovation.

General Motors Ecotec Turbo engine cover won a materials innovation award for adopting new long-term, heat-aging DuPont nylon just 90 days after launch, helping underscore the role of DuPont innovation in the automotive industry.

“The automotive industry is hungry for long-life, lightweight materials they can quickly use to cost-effectively cut weight to improve fuel economy and reduce emissions,” said DuPont Performance Polymers President Diane H. Gulyas. “The speed with which this remarkable material was adopted shows how collaboration combined with materials expertise can accelerate cost-effective innovation.”

General Motors capitalized on new DuPont™ Zytel® PLUS nylon just 90 days after it was introduced and earned the “Most Innovative Use of Plastics Award” for an engine-appearance and acoustic cover on the Ecotec 2.0-liter Turbo powering Cadillac CTS vehicles.

Nearly 70 percent of new small- and mid-sized engines scheduled to be launched between now and 2016 will use charged air induction to boost performance, according to IHS Automotive, Englewood, Colo.

“This trend toward downsized, turbocharged engines to meet fuel and emissions regulations without sacrificing power drives up heat, pressure and challenges many traditional plastics,” said Gulyas. “New materials must withstand increasingly demanding engine environments without adding cost or complexity.”

DuPont introduced four Zytel® PLUS nylon products in March and recently added three new polymers that stand up to long-term exposure to hot oil, calcium chloride, impact after aging and temperatures as high as 230 C. All are based on DuPont™ SHIELD Technology, which provides the kind of long-term protection against aggressive environments that can double the life of a component.

Zytel® PLUS nylon was used in this turbo application because it retains mechanical properties and great surface appearance despite long-term exposure to hot temperatures – 180 C and above – common in turbo-charged engines. The award-winning engine-appearance and acoustic cover is molded by Camoplast Polymer Solutions, Richmond, Quebec, Canada.

DuPont lightweight, long-term performance products used in the auto industry are an example of the company’s commitment to deliver solutions to reduce dependence on fossil fuels.

For four decades, the Society of Plastics Engineers has honored the "Most Innovative Use of Plastics" in automotive and ground-transportation applications, becoming the largest competition of its kind in the world and the oldest and largest recognition event in the automotive and plastics industries.

DuPont (www.dupont.com) is a science-based products and services company. Founded in 1802, DuPont puts science to work by creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, healthier life for people everywhere. Operating in more than 90 countries, DuPont offers a wide range of innovative products and services for markets including agriculture and food; building and construction; communications; and transportation.

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