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Solvay’s Ryton PPS helps cool Polimotor 2 engine

News International-French

17 Nov 2016

The global supplier of specialty polymers announced that its high-performing Ryton polyphenylene sulfide (PPS) will be at the heart of the Polimotor 2 engine’s water pump.

Solvay’s Ryton PPS helps cool Polimotor 2 engine
Manufactured by KSPG AG, the Pierburg CWA 400 electronic pump incorporates an impeller and stator isolator that were injection molded from Ryton R-4 PPS, a 40 percent fiberglass-reinforced PPS compound that provides outstanding chemical resistance, low moisture absorption and excellent dimensional stability at elevated temperatures. Led by legendary automotive innovator Matti Holtzberg, the Polimotor 2 project aims to design and manufacture a next-generation, all-plastic engine for competitive racing in 2016. Solvay is a leading materials sponsor for this highly anticipated technical endeavor.

“KSPG’s electronically operated pump runs independently of the engine to provide cooling only as needed to reduce fuel consumption and emissions – both emblematic goals of the Polimotor 2 project,” said Holtzberg, who is also President of Composite Castings, LLC, based in West Palm Beach, Fla. “However, the pump’s reliability under demanding race conditions was another critical factor in its selection and the Ryton PPS polymer, at its core, brings a proven track record for consistently excellent performance in commercial automotive applications.”

Designed as a brushless DC motor concept, the Pierburg CWA 400 pump requires no dynamic sealing elements or brushes, allowing it to reliably deliver more than 9,000 liters (2,378 gallons) per hour with a back pressure of >800 mbar without concerns over wear. The pump’s impeller required a material that could withstand temperatures ranging from -40°C to 130°C (-40°F to 266°F). Thermal stability specifications were even more stringent for the stator isolator, which operates at temperatures that can occasionally reach 185°C (365°F).

Ryton R-4 PPS delivers long-term performance at temperatures up to 220°C (428°F) and can withstand temporary peak temperatures as high as 265°C (509°F). Offering the dimensional stability necessary to ensure efficient, reliable pump operation under high-pressure race conditions, Solvay’s PPS compound also provides excellent resistance to chemicals and heat, which makes it suitable for use in automotive thermal management systems where frequent contact with engine coolants is required. Able to deliver performance comparable to metal pump components, Ryton R-4 PPS offers a lightweight alternative that can also help reduce noise, vibration and harshness. 

“In order to continue lowering CO2 emissions, automotive OEMs are increasingly choosing more efficient, electronically-driven water, oil and vacuum pumps,” said Brian Baleno, Global Automotive Business Development Manager for Solvay’s Specialty Polymers global business unit. “As the industry leader in specialty polymers, Solvay offers pump designers the broadest portfolio of light-weighting solutions for improving the reliability and durability of their latest designs.”

The Polimotor 2 project aims to develop an all-plastic, four-cylinder, double-overhead cam engine that weighs between 63 to 67 kg (138 to 148 lbs), which is about 41 kg (90 lbs) less than standard production engine. Holtzberg’s groundbreaking program will leverage Solvay’s advanced polymer technologies to develop up to ten engine parts, including cam sprockets, fuel system components, O-Rings, water cooling fixtures, throttle body parts and other high-performance components. Besides Ryton PPS, other Solvay materials targeted for use encompass Amodel polyphthalamide (PPA), AvaSpire polyaryletherketone (PAEK), KetaSpire polyetheretherketone (PEEK), Radel polyphenylsulfone (PPSU), Torlon polyamide-imide (PAI) and Tecnoflon fluoroelastomer (FKM) product families.