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DSM Engineering Plastics--leading the way in delivering green, sustainable products.

OEMs are switching to plastic in order to save on costs, increase productivity, improve safety, reduce environmental impact and ensure long term sustainability, according to DSM Engineering Plastics.

These needs are driven by a number of things including legal regulations (C[O.sub.2] emissions, Euro 4/5/6, pedestrian safety, fuel consumption, biofuels, pedestrian safety, recycling and End-of-Life-of Vehicle), consumer wishes/needs (infotainment, safety devices, comfort and individualized designs) and profit considerations within the business chain in the automotive sector.

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DSM Engineering Plastics' range of materials for the automotive industry is designed to deliver on performance requirements and meet the overall industry trends for lighter, more effective and greener solutions. DSM Engineering Plastics is currently working with some of the biggest names in the automotive industry to develop plastics solutions. Some of the innovations it has developed include the use of Akulon PA6 resin for use in oil sumps and oil pans, the use of Arnitel TPC for the production of vacuum brake tubes in the latest Ford Fiesta, and similar applications in other Ford models.

DSM Engineering Plastics was also involved in the introduction of the Arnite Low Outgassing PET XL Grade to specifically meet the needs of Adaptive Forward (AFX) Modules. This has been applied successfully in the production of a new Xenon AFX module for the latest Mercedes S- Class. Renault's front/rear harnesses also benefit from the product's exceptional dimensional stability, high electrical insulating property and moldability.

Other automotive innovations include:

* Stanyl Diablo OCD2100, a high performance grade of Stanyl for under the bonnet (UTB) applications which is outperforming current high heat resins on high temperature stability.

* The Stanyl high performance PA46 for ETC/EGR gears, EGR housing/parts and turbo housing enable weight reductions of over 50%, and system cost reductions as high as 50%.

* Akulon PA6 for oil sumps combines the functionalities of metal and offers weight reductions of up to 50%.

* Akulon Ultraflow PA6 for air bag containers enables cycle time reductions of up to 25% which leads to a significant reduction in overall system costs.

* Akulon PA6 for structural reinforcements combines the functionalities of metal with weight reductions of up to 50%.

There is a strong focus on quality. Apart from quality assurance processes such as the ISO/TS-169494 requirements, all DSM Engineering Plastics locations are ISO 9001:2002 and TS/ISO16949:2002 certified. The company's test laboratories are certified by external authorities, such as UL for in-house flammability and electrical testing and TS17025.

The company also implements global quality standards to ensure consistency of products.

Automotive Industries (AI) spoke to Roelof Westerbeek, president DSM Engineering Plastics and asked him about the automotive sector's influence in the company's product development.

Westerbeek: The automotive sector represents a significant part of DSM Engineering Plastic's turnover. Our expertise lie mainly in air/fuel, powertrain, auto E&E, airbag and brake systems.

AI: How is your green portfolio for the automotive industry evolving?

Westerbeek: As a market leader, we ensure that we use energy and raw materials efficiently so that we reduce the environmental impact of our activities. We are always looking at new ways to improve the eco-efficiency of our products. Our customers include OEMs and end-users that are looking to reduce their environmental impact. We design products that meet the industry's specific sustainability needs and aid in the quest for lower emissions, reduced fuel consumption as well as further weight reduction.

In the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index, DSM Engineering Plastics is listed as one of the leaders in the chemical industry sector. Within the Performance Materials cluster of DSM, the company is developing an entirely "green portfolio" of engineering materials for various automotive applications.

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AI: How has the increased "greening" of auto manufacturers helped your company?

Westerbeek: It has helped us focus more on our own material and application developments. The extreme high temperature resistance of many of our materials is a huge bonus and is being seen as a replacement option for some metals. These metal-to-plastic conversions can be seen in applications such as air inlet manifolds, air ducts, oil sumps, turbo parts, timing systems and other powertrain components. Our solutions can also be found in gears, air bag housings and in materials such as Stanyl PA46, Akulon PA6, Arnite PET, and Arnitel TPC. Weight reduction is also achieved through metal-to-plastic or rubber-to-plastic programs or via smart application designs (in high flow and high productivity grades). DSM Engineering Plastics also supports research in Life Cycle Assessments and Carbon Footprints.

AI: Tell us about your company's product innovations for the automotive sector such as the StanylR Diablo OCD 2100, Akulon UltraFIowR, ArnitelR and newer product releases such as the Fortii R and EcoPaXX.

Westerbeek: The trend towards downsizing engines has led to the increased use of turbo systems. Stanyl Diablo OCD2100 (PA46) can meet temperature requirements of up to 220[degrees]C and is ideally suited for use in turbo parts such as charged air ducts and resonators to name a few. High productivity materials such as Akulon Ultraflow (PA6) facilitate smarter designs and lower system costs for applications such as oil sumps and air inlet manifolds.

An important prerequisite for metal replacement is the long term temperature resistance of the plastic at elevated temperatures. DSM Engineering Plastics has developed the Stanyl Diablo OCD2100, a PA46 material which exhibited very little loss of strength during a 5000 hour test at temperatures of up to 210-230[degrees]C. This material has recently been approved for hot-charged air ducts. System costs could further be reduced due to the extremely good weldability of Stanyl Diablo OCD2100.

Another interesting development is the metal-to-plastic replacement for ETC covers, vacuum pump parts and motor housings with DSM Engineering Plastics' Arnite PET XT. This is a material which exhibits very good dimensional stability and meets the most stringent part tolerances. Arnitel C (TPC) and EcoPaXX (PA4.10) boost the long term sustainability of plastic parts. Arnitel C can be used as halogen-free flame-retardant solution for wire and cable, whilst EcoPaXX PA4.10 offers a small eco-footprint, high melting point and very good chemical resistance in a variety of automotive applications.

Bio-based, renewable solutions are currently being investigated and include new bio-based building blocks for existing polymers and new high temperature resistant, bio-engineering plastics based on renewable resources which don't compete with the food chain.

AI: Tell us about some of the automotive applications of your products.

Westerbeek: Our products are used in a number of applications such as air inlet manifolds, air ducts, charge air cooler end caps, UTB covers, chain tensioners, FEAD pulleys, motor management gears, bearing cages, MTD components, air bag housings, brake booster valve housings and CVJ boots. Our latest material and application developments aim at applications in start/ stop and hybrid/electrical vehicles as well as applications such as oil sumps.
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Title Annotation:innovation; Roelof Westerbeek
Author:Wright, Clinton
Publication:Automotive Industries
Article Type:Interview
Date:Sep 22, 2009
Words:1140
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