New EURO-5 exhaust gas standards, which will take effect in 2008, will push several automotive plastics applications toward high-end materials. “Alternative fuels, concentrated blow-by gases in mechanical separators as well as ammonia solution used for treating exhaust gases have a highly aggressive effect on seals and molded pars,” comments Klaus Bender, DuPont’s automotive market development manager. DuPont is developing HTN polyphthalamide (PPA) grades for specific applications that will meet the tougher requirements. Also under development are extrudable nylon 66 grades with improved thermal performance.
Norway-based additive manufacturing company Norsk Titanium is building what it says is the first industrial-scale 3D printing plant in the world for making aerospace-grade metal components. The New York state plant will produce 400 metric tons each year of aerospace-grade, structural titanium parts.
Siemens and Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology have achieved a faster production process based on selective laser melting for speeding up the prototyping of big, complex metal parts in gas turbine engines.
BMW has already incorporated more than 10,000 3D-printed parts in the Rolls-Royce Phantom and intends to expand the use of 3D printing in its cars even more in the future. Meanwhile, Daimler has started using additive manufacturing for producing spare parts in Mercedes-Benz Trucks.
SABIC's lightweighting polycarbonate glazing materials have appeared for the first time in a production car: the rear quarter window of Toyota's special edition 86 GRMN sports car, where they're saving 50% of its weight compared to conventional glass.
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