Feature

Oil pan lightens up

When it comes to carving weight out from a vehicle, it's easy to overlook the under-the- hood components--but we shouldn't. Case in point: a new car oil pan made from a grade of DuPont's Zytel nylon r...


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June 1, 2010 by Canadian Plastics



When it comes to carving weight out from a vehicle, it’s easy to overlook the under-the- hood components–but we shouldn’t. Case in point: a new car oil pan made from a grade of DuPont’s Zytel nylon resin that’s approximately 40 per cent lighter than its aluminum counterpart.

Manufactured by German automotive supplier ElringKlinger, the part design involves the single-stage production of not just the pan (measuring approximately 550 mm long, 400 mm wide and 300 mm high) but also sections of the pipeline for suction of oil from the sump, the fastening flanges for the pressure pipelines to and from the oil filter, and the oil filter flange with a directly encapsulated oil filter thread.

The nylon selected by ElringKlinger– Zytel 70G35 HSLRA4–is reinforced with 35 weight per cent glass fibers, making it very stiff, and creep-and hydrolysis-resistant. It combines high-impact resistance over a wide temperature range with a high resistance to lubricants and road salts, and also affords heat stabilization to enable the long-term usage of the material at temperatures of up to 150C. Finally, the low warpage behavior of the material ensures a durable and reliable seal along the circumference of the oil pan.

“Our selection of the 70G35 HSLRA4 meant that we were able to manage the long flow distances at a comparably low injection pressure, and despite some very low wall thicknesses,” said Ralf Franz, development engineer at ElringKlinger. “This, in turn, reduces cycle times, helps preserve the tool, and keeps energy costs low.”

E.I. DuPont Company (Mississauga, Ont.); www.plastics.dupont.com;905-821-5193