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Green chemistry for automotive equipment

Castor bean seeds

Historically and to this day, Arkema has always worked on a number of biobased high performance solutions from renewable raw materials to replace metal or rubber equipment in vehicles. The objective: to reduce the weight of cars and improve their materials, and so help reduce their environmental footprint.

Like many other sectors, the automotive industry seeks to minimize the environmental footprint of its vehicles. To address this challenge, Arkema’s teams of experts have developed bioplastics designed to replace metal parts as well as fossil-based materials present in cars.

From engine to gearbox to interior and exterior fittings and coatings, biosourced materials are gradually becoming an integral part of cars. Flexible and easy to handle, their manufacturing processes help reduce costs for carmakers.

Finished products derived from castor oil

Produced from castor oil, Rilsan® HT PPA (polyphthalamide) biopolymer is used in the manufacture of various under-bonnet equipment, including air-operated oil-air transfer lines, hydraulic lines and connectors. This thermoplastic features outstanding properties, including high chemical resistance and good high temperature stability.

Alongside this biosourced material, Arkema has developed a comprehensive range of polyamides as a metal substitude in many under-bonnet applications. A source of innovation and progress, green chemistry endeavors to meet the expectations of camakes, e.G. by contributing to improving the carbon footprint of cars. Arkema currently is the world’s only chemicals manufacturer to offer a full range of long-chain polyamides.

Rilsan® in the original Citroën DS

In the mid 50s, carmaker Citroën revolutionized the manufacture of its equipment by using Arkema’s Rilsan® flagship biosourced polyamide.

 

The fuel lines of the legendary DS sedan/saloon car were made of this PA 11, thereby challenging the legitimacy of steel and rubber in quite a few automotive applications.

Fiabilin: a 100% biosourced composite solution based on technical flax

Launched in September 2012, Fiabilin is an R&D collaborative project overseen by Arkema. Its aim is to develop the use of flax in the manufacture of composite materials for a variety of markets, including automotive. Thanks to these vegetable fibers, manufacturers will be able to use high performance technical flax to replace products containing glass fiber or carbon fiber.

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