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Automotive Components Honored as ‘Most Innovative’


The Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) Automotive Division has named two automotive components that use DuPont engineering resins in the association’s 2008 “Most Innovative Uses of Plastics” awards.

Daimler used Zytel® nylon in the industry’s first commercial replacement of metal with thermoplastics for oil pan modules, and Ford used Zytel® HTN in new capless fuel fillers that support compliance with stringent emission reduction requirements. Both were given honors in the powertrain/chassis category in the widely respected awards program.

“Automakers are looking for new materials and technology to help improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions without compromising system performance,” said Keith Smith, vice president and general manager, DuPont Engineering Polymers. “The drive to reduce weight for fuel savings and emissions reductions challenges many companies to rethink the design and manufacture of system components such as the ones being honored by SPE. The science and R&D capabilities at DuPont help enable collaboration that can bring these new developments to market faster and more cost-effectively.”

The Daimler application was judged a significant breakthrough in reducing weight of under-the-hood components, an innovation made possible by the design flexibility of thermoplastics. The use of Zytel® in place of aluminum cuts weight by more than one kilogram on Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz C Class vehicles. Use of high-performance resins such as Zytel® contribute to weight reduction, fuel savings and carbon dioxide emissions reduction.

The new Ford capless fuel system was honored for consumers’ ease of use. It is compatible with biofuels and supports compliance with stringent California emissions requirements. Emissions can also be reduced compared to standard capped systems in that the fuel neck isn’t opened until the pump nozzle is inserted, and the system seals shut automatically after filling, helping to minimize evaporative emissions


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