Advanced formulas provide recourse for automotive industry

Turbochargers have long been used to get more power out of an engine with a reduced cubic capacity. And to comply with or exceed newly enforced reduced emissions standards, car manufacturers have been furiously attempting to make their turbos (and virtually every other car part) as compact and lightweight as possible, without compromising safety or performance. The by product of this is of course, increased pressure, denser air, and higher temperatures, due to equivalent outputs in smaller engine blocks.

Enter Ultramid. Composed of PA6 and PA66 polyamides, its thermal stability and dynamic strength are ideal for handling the intense pressure in a turbocharger's compressor and charge-air cooler. And because compressed air burns fuel burn more efficiently, drivers reap greater power while consuming less energy.

“Five years ago, turbochargers were primarily just used on diesel engines and now we're seeing estimates of 6.5 million turbocharged gasoline vehicles on the market in 2020,” said Scott Schlicker, powertrain market segment manager at BASF's Performance Materials group. “With Ultramid Endure we have a thermoplastic that can withstand temperatures of up to 220°C and peaks of up to 240°C without degradation and it offers the automakers more design flexibility and the opportunity to easily integrate other components, like the surge valve and sensors.”

Turbochargers aren't the only car part using PA6 and PA66 polyamides to reduce weight and therefore emissions. Leading manufacturers are pushing the envelope with automotive polyamides in fuse boxes, backrests, and even oil pans.

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