Almost two years ago, DuPont announced the development of a new technology tradenamed “Shield” that it called the most important development in nylon in 30 years. The bragging is OK because a DuPont scientist named Wallace Carothers invented nylon in 1937. Outside of the USA nylon is called by its generic chemical name polyamide. The other major producer in the world, BASF may have its own choice for the most
important development in the polymer in the last 30 years. One thought is the development of polyamide intake manifolds.
DuPont’s new nylons extend the performance of standard nylons, particularly in thermal properties, but are said to maintain the moldability of standard nylons. The first major application was a GM engine cover that was a big winner at the Society of Plastics Engineer’s annual automotive design competition, but there has been a dearth of news since, possibly due to confidentiality agreements.
But on Jan. 19, DuPont announced that Tata Toyo adopted the material for three hot- and cold-side charge air coolers used on four vehicles of a major Indian auto OEM. Charge air coolers quickly cool hot air generated by the turbocharger before it is forced through the induction system. Cooler air improves combustion efficiency. Zytel Plus nylon was selected as a replacement to a specialty nylon because it retains rigidity at high temperatures, offers a better surface appearance and processes with ease.
“Weight, performance and cost are critical in our components and systems,” said Rajiv Kulkarni, head of Engineering at Tata Toyo, a heat-exchange technology supplier based in Pune, India.