DSM Lightweight, High-Temperature Plastics Replace Metal in Charge Air Cooler End Cap Application

4th October 2017

Royal DSM, a global science-based company active in health, nutrition and materials, has partnered with leading automotive system supplier, Mahle GmbH, to replace metal end caps with high-heat-resistant plastics in charge air cooler (CAC) applications. This change has led to lower weight, improved engine performance, better fuel efficiency and reduced system costs.

Metal end caps in CAC applications must withstand continuous temperatures up to 230°C, which limits the material choices. For this project, DSM leveraged its materials knowledge, paired with the application expertise of Stuttgart, Germany–based Mahle, to enable the use of DSM’s Stanyl® Diablo OCD2300 (a PA46 with 50% glass fiber) for Volkswagen’s Crafter light commercial vehicle.

The VW Crafter project required a water-cooled charge air cooler mounted directly on the engine, resulting in shorter cold charge air ducts, leading to improved engine performance. Stanyl Diablo OCD2300 offers an excellent combination of high mechanical performance, long-term heat aging at extremely high temperatures and good chemical resistance which made it “the” choice for this application.

Jessica Wolf, Mahle Behr project manager for the Crafter ICAC, said: “For this project, we needed a material that could withstand continuous 230 °C with excellent creep and fatigue performance. Stanyl Diablo OCD2300 was a perfect fit for the requirements given by the OEM. The only back-up scenario was to design in metal, which would have higher costs and add significant weight.”

With its lower weight versus metal, Stanyl Diablo helps OEMs reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions, while retaining excellent tensile strength retention and impact resistance. Stanyl provides up to 40% weight reduction versus aluminum, and its excellent processing characteristics reduce material and production costs.