2/1/2001 | 3 MINUTE READ

Hot, Cool & Clear

Facebook Share Icon LinkedIn Share Icon Twitter Share Icon Share by EMail icon Print Icon

We’re not talking about beverages here, but materials that can make a difference in things ranging from improving emissions to countering carjacking.


Facebook Share Icon LinkedIn Share Icon Twitter Share Icon Share by EMail icon Print Icon

Hot Operators

Dig Deeper
To learn more about plastics, composites, and plastic processing equipment check out our sister publication:

The potential for copper/brass looks good for model year 2000 diesel-powered vehicles, according to the people at the International Copper Association (ICA; New York City).

It’s like this: Emissions regulations in the U.S. are going to become much more stringent. The diesels will require better volumetric efficiency in order to achieve more complete combustion, thereby reducing emissions. Typically, diesels employ turbochargers and charge air coolers (CACs) to increase engine power and fuel economy. According to the ICA, a means by which the new emissions standards will be met is through an increase in the inlet pressure to the engine. And greater pressure leads to more heat. Which is where the copper/brass shines.

Copper/brass can take the heat in diesel engines.

Apparently, the average inlet temperature in today’s CACs is 190°C. And the estimate is that the average temperature will have to go to 246ºC. Which is something that copper/brass can handle. According to the ICA, the Cuprobraze manufacturing process can produce CACs that can perform at 290ºC with no metal fatigue—something that the association claims aluminum is incapable of because of a decline in aluminum’s tensile strength starting at 150ºC.

Cooler Components
The colored squares in the image on the following page are actually two 3 x 3 x 1/8-in. pieces of plastics. Infrared photography is the cause of the colors, with the following relationships: white, 47º°C; red, 40°C; yellow, 35°C; green, 31°C; aqua, 26°C; blue, 23°C. The heat is a result of applying a 5-watt heat source to the center of the two coupons.

The bulls-eye adorned plastic is, in the parlance of the people from Cool Polymers (Warwick, RI) a “standard plastic,” a polypropylene. The field of green is their thermally conductive polymer, CoolPoly, a material that has found applications in products like personal computers, and which is said to have applicability in a variety of automotive applications (e.g., fluid/air or fluid/fluid heat exchangers; passenger interface components; electronic enclosures; electric motor encapsulation; sensors).

One of the main points of difference between the two materials at test here is that from the center to the edge the temperature variation across the conductive material is 4°C; it is 24°C across the polypropylene. Because the former is a conductor (and the latter an insulator), the dissipation of heat is better, which gives rise to the material’s moniker.

Clearly Improved
Auto glass is getting more robust all the time. Solutia Inc. (St. Louis) offers a line of what’s known as “Enhanced Protective Glass” (EPG), which can be used for side window and backlight installations, and which is used in vehicles including the Volvo S80, Audi A8, and Mercedes S-Class.

While many plastic materials are insulators (such as the colorful one in this image), CoolPoly conducts heat, thereby offering a number of inherent advantages for heat-related applications.

In a controlled demonstration, it required 20 seconds to break through standard EPG. By way of contrast, standard tempered glass withstood just two seconds of engineered pounding.

The EPG has a sandwich construction: Two pieces of heat-strengthened float glass (each about 2.1-mm thick) with a ~0.76-mm layer of polyvinyl butyral (PVB) in between.

Looking for a way to increase the performance of the EPG, it was initially thought that increasing the thickness of the PVB would be the answer . . . but it was determined that while the resistance to penetration was improved but the material essentially exhibited a folding such that a brigand could simply pull the impacted glass out of the window frame. So the Solutia engineers came up with a new solution called the “High Security Interlayer.” This is a more-complex sandwich: glass/PVB/polyethylene terephthalate (PET)/PVB/glass.

This withstood breakthrough for more than two minutes. And what’s more, it helps reduce road noise, too.



  • Breaking Down the Chevy Bolt

    Sandy Munro and his team of engineers and costing analysts at Munro & Associates were contacted by UBS Research—an arm of the giant banking and investment firm—and asked whether it was possible to do a teardown and cost assessment of the Chevrolet Bolt EV.

  • Multiple Choices for Light, High-Performance Chassis

    How carbon fiber is utilized is as different as the vehicles on which it is used. From full carbon tubs to partial panels to welded steel tube sandwich structures, the only limitation is imagination.

  • Chip Foose: Humble Genius

    Scene 1After speaking at Detroit's Cobo Hall during the North American International Auto Show, Chip Foose seems genuinely taken with the evident adulation of the audience, and takes the time to answer every question and sign autographs.The second oldest child and only male in a family with four kids, Chip Foose was born in Santa Barbara, California, on October 6, 1963.