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Bio-based polyamide selected for fuel vapour separators

DSM Engineering Plastics (Sittard) : 27 March, 2014  (Application Story)
Royal DSM's bio-based high performance EcoPaXX polyamide 410 has been selected by Dytech-Dynamic Fluid Technologies for the fuel vapour separators it produces for Ferrari and Maserati sports cars. The halogen-free flame retardant EcoPaXX Q-KGS6, will increase the fire safety of the cars by combining flame retardancy with a high level of chemical resistance, essential for this application. EcoPaXX polyamide 410 is 70% derived from renewable resources.
The fuel vapour separator is an important element of the complete fuel delivery system in road vehicles. It separates vapors from liquid fuel coming out from the fuel tank, and prevents the liquid fuel reaching—and contaminating—the fuel vapor canister. This prevents the evaporating fumes from reaching the atmosphere while also maintaining proper fuel tank pressures.
While fuel lines themselves have a coextruded outer cover in a flame retardant thermoplastic, fuel vapor separators are most often still made from a non-flame-retardant polyamide. Dytech Dynamic Fluid Technologies, based just outside Turin, Italy, now part of Tokai Rubber Industries Ltd group, develops and supplies fuel delivery components and systems for many leading automotive companies. Dytech chose the innovative halogen-free flame retardant EcoPaXX to meet increasing fire safety requirements as well as a wide range of other demanding requirements for the application.
EcoPaXX is highly resistant and impermeable to conventional gasoline fuel (E10) as well as to the more sustainable E85 fuel. In the SHED (Sealed Housing for Evaporative Determination) test, EcoPaXX fuel vapour separators showed a very low permeation level for E10, of 0.002g/24h. EcoPaXX Q-KGS6 has a UL94V-0 flammability rating at 0.7mm.
The high thermal stability of EcoPaXX is demonstrated by its Maximum Continuous Use Temperature of 175C. This engineering plastic also has very good dimensional stability (proven by short term aging at 100C), and performs well in low temperature impact tests carried out at -30C. EcoPaXX also passes tube extraction and impact tests after thermal and fuel ageing, as well as fatigue resistance tests.
DSM engineering plastics are widey used in various elements of automotive and non-automotive fuel systems. For example, another grade of EcoPaXX (*Q-HG6) has been tested successfully in automotive fuel line quick couplings, and Akulon Fuel Lock, a special grade of polyamide 6 for injection and blow-moulding applications, provides resistance to permeation without additives or post-moulding treatments; it is used in CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) tanks. 
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