First high-volume, high-heat plastic AIM/CAC combination

Global Life Sciences and Materials Sciences company, Royal DSM, has collaborated with Tier One automotive supplier Mahle to develop the world's first high-volume use of high-heat plastic in an air intake manifold (AIM) that integrates a water-cooled charge air cooler (CAC).

Using DSM’s high temperature resistance polyamide 46, Stanyl Diablo OCD 2100, Mahle is producing the first high-volume application of high-heat plastic AIM/CAC combination for use in BMW’s B48 engine which is used in several different car models.

Car manufacturers want to deliver higher-performing engines while still meeting the new emission limits. One means of achieving this in turbo systems is to integrate the CAC into the AIM, using liquid to more effectively cool the air instead of air-to-air cooling. CAC integration also reduces the air duct length, thereby improving engine responsiveness and reducing turbo lag.

“Such a design can drive the AIM’s continuous operating temperature up to 220°C, which in turn boosts the mechanical demands on the materials used in those components,” said Martin Valecka, project manager, Mahle. “This new geometry also requires materials with robust weldability and weldline aging resistance in order to maintain the part’s integrity.”

DSM offers a complete portfolio of high-performance materials for air intake manifolds whether they have an air-to-air CAC or an integrated, liquid-cooled CAC. This includes Akulon polyamide 6, Akulon Diablo polyamide 66, Stanyl and Stanyl Diablo polyamide 46. These materials have been engineered for continuous-use temperatures up to 230°C.

The mechanical properties of both the HDT2700 and OCD2100 grades provides high weld strength and ensures part integrity under pressure pulsation loads. These materials are said to outperform competitive materials in regard to thermal oxidative stability, maintaining high stiffness at elevated temperatures and pressure loads.

These Stanyl Diablo materials are also claimed to deliver robust performance, function integration, and design flexibility, while providing up to 40% weight reduction versus aluminium. Its processing characteristics reduce material and production costs.