Nanocomposites used in commercial auto application
In what may be the first fuel-system use of nanocomposite materials, Fiat will be installing fuel lines incorporati...
In what may be the first fuel-system use of nanocomposite materials, Fiat will be installing fuel lines incorporating a nanocomposite barrier layer in a new vehicle within 12 months. The fuel lines are being co-developed by Ube Engineering Plastics and an Italian manufacturer of fuel systems, according to a report published in the Omnexus e-newsletter.
The multi-layer tube structures use a nanocomposite layer in place of traditional barrier materials, such as PVDF. The nanometer-scale clay particles provide the necessary barrier properties to prevent emissions of fuel into the atmosphere. Replacing a plastic barrier layer with nano-clay essentially creates a single-material tube, thus improving recycling.
The announcement was made at the AddPlast 2003 conference in Europe. According to Ube Engineering Plastics business development manager Ewald Zimmer, a typical all-nylon fuel line would incorporate an outer layer of PA12, a PA6/12 copolymer layer to enhance adhesion, a PA6/66 copolymer layer containing 2% nanoclay, and a PA6 inner layer in contact with the fuel.