DSM Engineering Materials has partnered with Renault to create an industry-first lightweight solution for hybrid vehicle fuel tanks. By using Akulon Fuel Lock, DSM’s high-performance low-carbon-footprint PA6 (polyamide 6) material, the fuel tanks can be produced with a blow molding monolayer construction that significantly reduces weight and cost without compromising safety or risking additional emissions.
The fuel tank is designed and manufactured by DSM Engineering Material project partners RM Technologies and MTS France.
As e-mobility continues to develop, regulations and standards are evolving alongside the industry. European Union regulations set a maximum CO2 emission rate of 95 g/km for passenger cars, which necessitates a careful balance of materials and design to maximize fuel efficiency. Traditionally, fuel tanks were made of steel to prevent volatile compounds from escaping, but these tanks add significant weight to the vehicle. Hybrid vehicles enable the use of smaller fuel tanks, making a polymer solution more viable, but high-density polyethylene (HDPE) still requires multilayer structures with complex additional features to prevent permeation, and withstand the extended periods of internal pressure inherent to Plug-in hybrid vehicles.
Following the successful development of the first automotive fuel tank in polyamide commercialized on the Alpine A110, DSM Engineering Materials continued its partnership with RM Technologies, MTS France and Renault to create a solution for the Renault CAPTUR E-Tech Plug-in-Hybrid, drawing on its portfolio of high-performance materials to complement Renault’s fuel systems engineering expertise.
DSM’s innovative Akulon Fuel Lock material enables a lightweight monolayer fuel tank with the low permeation properties needed to meet regulations.
Akulon Fuel Lock PA6 grades are designed for injection or blow molding and extrusion, making them highly versatile for the rapid design innovation of the e-mobility sector. Extremely high parison stability enables very narrow wall thickness distributions, and robust performance at both high and low temperatures ensures that safety is always paramount.
Akulon Fuel Lock is offering a drop-in solution and a second life to the monolayer blow molding machines dedicated to the production of the declining diesel monolayer fuel tanks.
Working with DSM Engineering Materials to create our new hybrid vehicle fuel tanks has helped us to take a significant step toward providing more sustainable mobility to our customers everywhere. Hybrid vehicles are indeed a key part of the transition toward a more sustainable economy, and we’re very proud to offer this innovative new solution to the market.—Dr. Laurent Gervat, Technical Polymers and Composites Expert, Leader of the Upstream Strategy Material Team, Renault