The Polimotor 2 project chose Solvay Specialty Polymer’s Amodel A-8930 HS PPA to fabricate the water inlet/outlet fixture in its advanced race engine.
High performance polymers from Solvay have been chosen in a further application for the Polimotor 2 next-generation, all plastic engine project.
The water inlet/outlet fixture in the Polimotor 2 engine’s cooling system will be fabricated from Solvay’s Amodel A-8930 HS polyphthalamide (PPA), a high-performing reinforced grade that is said to retain mechanical properties in high-temperature engine coolant better than standard polyamide 66 (PA66). Solvay’s TecnoflonPL855 fluoroelastomer (FKM) will also provide a strong chemical- and heat-resistant seal for the fixture.
Led by automotive innovator Matti Holtzberg, the Polimotor 2 project aims to design and manufacture an all-plastic engine for competitive racing in 2016. The highly technical endeavour aims to develop an engine weighing less than today’s standard production engines and set the stage for innovative breakthroughs in future commercial automobiles.
“Automotive designers – on and off the race track – are seeking more heat-resistant polymer technologies as engine downsizing raises the performance demands on cooling system components,” explained Holtzberg.
“No company can match both the breadth and depth of Solvay’s high-performance polymer portfolio, which continues to provide the Polimotor 2 team with flexible design options. We considered several grades from the Amodel PPA and Ryton PPS product families, but, ultimately, Amodel A-8930 HS PPA was best tailored to meet the thermal and structural requirements for this application. It also delivered strong corrosion resistance and weight reduction benefits.”
A recent addition to the Solvay portfolio, Amodel A-8930 HS PPA is a 30-percent glass-fibre reinforced, heat-stabilised polymer specifically offered for high-temperature components in automotive, aerospace and industrial applications. It was selected for the Polimotor 2 water inlet/outlet, in part, for its strong hydrolytic stability, which enables it to retain mechanical performance after extended exposure to high-temperature engine coolants. More specifically, Amodel A-8930 HS PPA retains its high tensile strength and elongation after extended exposure to ethylene glycol at 135°C. Solvay says its reinforced PPA also exhibits superior creep resistance and low moisture absorption compared to PA66.
The injection moulded water inlet/outlet now links Polimotor 2’s cylinder head and engine block to the radiator via a rubber hose. In conventional race engines, the part is more likely to be an aerospace-quality army/navy fitting machined from aluminium billet. In today’s production engines, PA66 is more typically used, depending on thermal requirements.