Polymer Passes the Sniff Test—and Then Some
Remember that “new car” smell?
Well, remembering may be all there is to it because according to polymer provider PolyOne, there is an increasing number of consumers who associate that smell with things like volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and so aren’t particularly keen on climbing into their brand-new vehicle and think that they’re being exposed to something that’s not good.
So to address this, in part, PolyOne has developed a low-odor, talc-filled polypropylene that’s is engineered for underhood HVAC applications such that it can help OEMs meet vehicle interior air quality (VIAQ) standards, as in achieving odor testing results of 3.0 per VDA 270 (which, in case you’re wondering: “The test is intended for the evaluation of the odour behaviour under the influence of temperature and climate. The test will be performed on materials and parts of the automotive interior and on parts in contact with the supply air to the interior,” according to Verband der Automobilindustrie).
Named Maxxam LO, the material reduces odors while maintaining its performance and aesthetic characteristics.
Perhaps the only thing people will be smelling in cars is something like this:
Little Trees air freshener
Alcoa Inc. has split in two, with there being Alcoa Corp. and Arconic Inc. The latter will focus on “multi-materials innovation, precision engineering and advanced manufacturing.”
Several plastic makers are now producing components and subsystems once considered the sole domain of steel and-yes-even aluminum. Thermoplastic can mean up to a 30 to 40% weight reduction over equivalent metal components in many under hood applications, but cost reductions have gained the most attention. That's right: plastic components being cost competitive with metal.
Eaton has found ways to save weight by using plastics and metal together in differential parts, and to leverage composites exclusively for applications in its superchargers for small, sub-liter engines.