HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
News
Materials & Assembly
Nylon 12 Replacements Include Bioplastics
5/14/2012

Image 1 of 2      Next >

The worldwide nylon 12 shortage is forcing automakers and suppliers to look at alternative materials with chemical, heat, and salt resistance for flexible tubing. Many of these alternatives are bio-based polyamides such as extruded grades of Rhodia's Technyl eXten PA6.10.   (Source: Rhodia)
The worldwide nylon 12 shortage is forcing automakers and suppliers to look at alternative materials with chemical, heat, and salt resistance for flexible tubing. Many of these alternatives are bio-based polyamides such as extruded grades of Rhodia's Technyl eXten PA6.10.
(Source: Rhodia)

Image 1 of 2      Next >

Return to Article

View Comments: Oldest First|Newest First|Threaded View
Page 1/2  >  >>
naperlou
User Rank
Blogger
Supply chain risks
naperlou   5/14/2012 10:14:21 AM
NO RATINGS
This situation shows that there are real risks in the global supply chain.  While this global supply may be effecient due to scale, there are many possibilities for disruption.  I would have throght that the consumers of these materials would have plans in place before something like this  happens. 

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Supply chain risks
Ann R. Thryft   5/14/2012 1:04:04 PM
NO RATINGS
naperlou, I was surprised to discover that the industry could go through such a shakeup when only one supplier went offline. Apparently, DuPont and others have already been working on replacements for awhile, as the supply has been tightening due to increased demand from other industries: solar and oil/gas.

Dave Palmer
User Rank
Platinum
Timely topic
Dave Palmer   5/14/2012 1:27:46 PM
NO RATINGS
@Ann: Thanks for this informative article on a timely topic.  I had heard that Evonik provided feedstock for as much as 80% of the nylon-12 supply, not 40%, as the article states.  Of course, even 40% represents many tens of thousands of tons.  It's no exaggeration to say that everyone is scrambling for an alternative.

I'm a little surprised you didn't mention Arkema's Rilsan nylon-11, which is based on castor oil and which you covered in an article a couple of months ago.  According to that article, it is already being used in fuel line applications.

Schulman's Schulamid nylon-6,12 is another product worth mentioning.  It's not renewably sourced, but could potentially be a drop-in replacement for nylon-12 in extruded hoses.

The fact that the industry was able to pull together through AIAG and come up with a common test strategy was a major accomplishment.

It will be interesting to see if any of the substitute materials catch on in the long run, or if everyone will go back to nylon-12 as soon as it becomes available again.  There is certainly a potential for long-term use of renewably sourced plastics to increase as a result of this situtation.  It all depends on how well they perform and how much they cost.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Timely topic
Ann R. Thryft   5/14/2012 1:44:55 PM
NO RATINGS
Dave, thanks for your input. The 40% figure comes from ICIS, the major industry market analyst, so I tend to believe them:
http://www.icis.com/Articles/2012/04/30/9554265/news-focus-producers-scramble-to-provide-polyamide-12-alternatives-for-auto.html
I agree that it will be very interesting to see if using replacements--and specifically bio-plastic replacements--will continue after the supply of nylon 12 comes back up.
There are many other possible replacement products, including Arkema's, but the purpose of the article was not to give a detailed list of alternatives: that's been well covered already in the plastics vertical media and by ICIS.

TJ McDermott
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Supply chain risks
TJ McDermott   5/15/2012 1:49:05 AM
NO RATINGS
Naperlou, the problem has cropped up repeatedly in the last 10 years.  Two manufacturers in Japan represented a 25% loss of global silicon wafer production after the Earthquake.

The world is WAY too dependent on silicon wafers to tolerate that.  The same applies to plastics.

JIT supply chains may be efficient, but only if the supply chain is guaranteed.  It is not damage tolerant at all.

Engineers need to take a stronger stand proving this to the accounting department.

Tim
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Timely topic
Tim   5/15/2012 7:05:28 AM
NO RATINGS
Production of nylon 12 monomer feed stock is extremely difficult and expensive to complete on a large scale.  The alternative plans of Dupont and others were most likely completed years ago as an attempt to take market share from Evonik, but they were not cost feasible.  Now with end users scrambling to get some sort of alternative material, they are willing to pay a premium for the alternative material and the testing required to qualify it for use.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Timely topic
Ann R. Thryft   5/15/2012 3:01:26 PM
NO RATINGS
Tim, thanks for your input. As I reported, DuPont, among others, said that customers began asking for alternatives about two years ago when supply  began tightening due to increased demand from solar panel makers and the oil & gas industry. Suppliers may well have begun those efforts even earlier internally. However, the main crunch here is caused by the material's use in automotive manufacturing, where changes in materials do not occur or easily. 5,000 hours, or about 7 months, is the usual required time for testing a new material for fuel lines, the main class of parts affected. This has somehow been fast-tracked down to 3 or 4 weeks by the AIAG's action.

Dave Palmer
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Timely topic
Dave Palmer   5/15/2012 8:08:03 PM
NO RATINGS
@Ann: Any word on how EPA is handling this with regard to permeation requirements? In our application, there is a barrier layer which is made out of PVDF, not nylon-12, and this barrier layer is not changing.   In our design, we rely mainly on this barrier layer (not the nylon-12 itself) to prevent permeation, so we don't expect any problems with EPA approval.  But what about in cases where there is no barrier layer?

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Timely topic
Ann R. Thryft   5/16/2012 1:11:04 PM
NO RATINGS
Dave, EPA requirements were not discussed regarding replacement materials. That said, can you tell us more about the context for the barrier layer you mention? Are you referring to the multi-layer tubing mentioned in the article?

Dave Palmer
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Timely topic
Dave Palmer   5/16/2012 2:13:21 PM
NO RATINGS
@Ann: Yes, I'm refering to multilayer tubing used for fuel lines.  The EPA has regulations regarding evaporative emissions for both automotive and non-automotive applications.  Hydrocarbons can permeate through plastic tubing and escape into the atmosphere.  It's important to limit this. (This is what our barrier layer does).

I'm not sure what the automotive requirement is, but the marine requirement is 15 grams per square meter per day maximum.  This is measured according to one of two SAE standards, depending on whether it is plastic or rubber hose.  However, since I'm not directly involved in regulatory compliance, I'm not sure exactly how this needs to be documented to EPA, or what the approval process is.

Page 1/2  >  >>
Partner Zone
Latest Analysis
The phablet wars continue. Today we welcome the Nexus 6 -- a joint collaboration between Google and Motorola.
According to a study by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, one of the factors in the collapse of the original World Trade Center towers on Sept. 11, 2001, was the reduction in the yield strength of the steel reinforcement as a result of the high temperatures of the fire and the loss of thermal insulation.
If you have a Gadget Freak project, we have a reader who wants to make it. And not only will you get your 15 minutes of fame on our website and social media channels, you will also receive $500 and be automatically entered into the 2015 Gadget Freak of the Year contest.
Robots are getting more agile and automation systems are becoming more complex. Yet the most impressive development in robotics and automation is increased intelligence. Machines in automation are increasingly able to analyze huge amounts of data. They are often able to see, speak, even imitate patterns of human thinking. Researchers at European Automation call this deep learning.
Thanksgiving is a time for family. A time for togetherness. A time for… tech?
More:Blogs|News
Design News Webinar Series
11/19/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
11/6/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
10/7/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
12/11/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Dec 1 - 5, An Introduction to Embedded Software Architecture and Design
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Last Archived Class
Sponsored by Littelfuse
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service