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DSM high-temperature plastics successfully replace metal in charge air cooler end cap application; Volkswagen Crafter

Royal DSM, a global science-based company active in health, nutrition and materials, has partnered with Mahle GmbH to replace metal end caps with high-heat-resistant plastics in charge air cooler (CAC) applications. This change has led to improved engine performance, better fuel efficiency and reduced system costs.

Metal end caps in CAC applications must withstand continuous temperatures up to 230 °C (446 ˚F), which limits the material choices. For this project, DSM leveraged its materials knowledge, paired with the application expertise of Mahle, to enable the use of DSM’s Stanyl Diablo OCD2300 (a PA46 with 50% glass fiber) for Volkswagen’s Crafter light commercial vehicle.

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The VW Crafter project required a water-cooled charge air cooler mounted directly on the engine, resulting in shorter cold charge air ducts, leading to improved engine performance. Stanyl Diablo OCD2300 offers an excellent combination of high mechanical performance, long-term heat aging at extremely high temperatures and good chemical resistance which made it the choice for this application.

For this project, we needed a material that could withstand continuous 230 °C with excellent creep and fatigue performance. Stanyl Diablo OCD2300 was a perfect fit for the requirements given by the OEM. The only back-up scenario was to design in metal, which would have higher costs and add significant weight.

—Jessica Wolf, Mahle Behr project manager for the Crafter ICAC

DSM’s portfolio of high-performance materials for air-management applications—regardless if the vehicle has an air-to-air CAC or a liquid-cooled CAC—includes Akulon polyamide (PA6 and PA66), Akulon Diablo (PA66/6 and PA66), Stanyl (PA46), Stanyl Diablo (PA46), Xytron (PPS) and ForTii (PPA).

DSM engineered the Diablo technology specifically for extremely high continuous use temperatures and is available with different glass fiber contents. The latest grade—Stanyl Diablo HDT2700—offers a best-in-class heat deflection temperature (HDT) under load of 267 °C (512.6 ˚F), which exceeds that of existing Stanyl Diablo grades.

This material can deliver a 3,000-hour continuous use temperature of up to 230 °C, making it ideal for components such as welded air ducts, resonators and LCCAC integrated air intake manifolds where aging performance of the weldline is critical.

With its lower weight versus metal, Stanyl Diablo helps OEMs reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions, while retaining excellent tensile strength retention and impact resistance.

The excellent mechanical properties of the Stanyl Diablo and Akulon Diablo grades provide high weld strength and ensure part integrity under pressure pulsation loads. These materials outperform competitive materials in terms of thermal oxidative stability, and in maintaining high stiffness at elevated temperatures and pressure loads, DSM said.

As under-the-hood requirements become more extreme, especially for new developed engines to fulfill coming EU7 requirements, Stanyl Diablo materials deliver not only robust performance, but also function integration and design flexibility while eliminating the need to return to metals. Stanyl provides up to 40% weight reduction versus aluminum, and its excellent processing characteristics reduce material and production costs.

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