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New coating developed for AMODEL polyphthalamide provides thermal protection in high-heat applications

Solvay Advanced Polymers Llc : 11 September, 2006  (New Product)
A new coating provides thermal reflectivity when applied to the surface of parts made of AMODEL polyphthalamide from Solvay Advanced Polymers, L.L.C. The product has been developed by TechLine Coatings, Inc. of Murrieta, California, and is based on technology used in the company
In testing conducted by TechLine and Solvay Advanced Polymers, sample plaques coated with a thin film of IC-105 were subjected to direct contact with a heat source at 600°F. After extended exposure, the temperature of the plastic in the samples was measured at approximately 400°F.

Higher heat in underhood applications
The differential of 190 to 200°F is significant for plastics such as polyphthalamide that are intended for use in the components of an automobile powertrain. “While plastics such as nylons, or polyamides, or amide-imides have excellent qualities within a certain temperature range,” says Leonard Warren, president of TechLine Coatings, “almost all of them have difficulties going above 500°F for extended periods of time. They begin to lose their primary characteristics at this temperature, and certainly above 550°F.”

New coating provide thermal protection for AMODEL PPA …
Warren, whose company specializes in coatings for the high-performance automotive market, points out that higher temperatures are coming to the underhood environment as part of an evolutionary process. “Advances in engine technology, fuel management, and emissions requirements are driving up the heat. Where these types of plastics were adequate a few years ago, today that’s no longer the case.”

At the same time, the economics of the automotive industry are creating pressure for the use of plastic as a replacement for metal. Part consolidation and the elimination of post-finishing processes make plastics an attractive alternative to some metals.

Jim Doty, a global marketing manager at Solvay Advanced Polymers, cites applications in an engine’s air-induction system where materials such as AMODEL PPA are replacing aluminum. “The end tanks of turbocharger air cooler housings, for example, are sometimes made of plastic. But extended operation at elevated temperatures can have serious consequences for parts like this.”

In contact with high-temperature air, the surface of these parts can undergo oxidation. As a result, the charred plastic can flake off, and, along with exposed reinforcing fibers, can contaminate the turbocharger system.

Coating eliminates oxidation, prevents deterioration
In test conditions of 410°F, however, samples of AMODEL PPA showed that the IC-105 coating practically eliminated oxidation. “We didn’t see the charring that leads to contamination, and we don’t see the surface deterioration that can have negative implications for airflow,” points out Doty. “And we anticipate that the 190-200°F temperature differential will forestall the degradation of such key properties
of the polyphthalamide as tensile strength, elongation, stiffness, and impact resistance.”
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