3 Key Takeaways from Engineering Materials Forum 2024

During Envalior’s Engineering Materials Forum on June 27, attendees to this free online forum were treated to best practices and inspirational discussions about engineering materials and applications. The forum featured 15 expert-led sessions offering a wealth of expertise for engineers and designers interested in future mobility, electronics, manufacturing, material science or product design. 

During Envalior’s Engineering Materials Forum last month, attendees to this online forum were treated to best practices and inspirational discussions about engineering materials and applications. This free, full-day virtual forum featured 15 expert-led sessions offering a wealth of expertise for engineers and designers interested in future mobility, electronics, manufacturing, material science or product design. The forum focused on how engineering materials are paving the way for more sustainable and impactful outcomes in diverse applications.

Following an opening session that featured Envalior’s CEO Calum Maclean, Vice President of Research and Development Kriin Dijkstra, and Director of Sustainability Günter Margraf, attendees of the virtual forum chose between two tracks covering the hottest topics in engineering materials. Track 1 represented topics related to science and services, and track 2 focused on topics related to innovations and applications.

How to make the best material choices if PTFE is no longer an option

In the session, “PTFE-Free Solutions for Tribology Components,” Envalior’s Marta Bach, business development manager, and Adnan Hasanovic, advanced application development manager, explained that regulatory bodies such as the European Chemicals Agency are considering restrictions on the use of PTFE, which is commonly used to reduce wear and friction in tribology applications. The PTFE restrictions are likely not only to be limited to plastics, but will possibly also apply to PTFE containing industrial greases and oils.

Alternative materials are in high demand, and Bach and Hasanovic discussed how to make the best material choices when PTFE isn't an option. For example, Envalior’s Stanyl® helps in some cases to achieve wear and friction performance needs without PTFE in demanding tribology applications, such as chain and belt guides, gears, bearing cages, and sliding bearings/bushings.

In automotive timing systems, Stanyl® HGR3-W delivers the lowest friction levels and lowest parasitic power losses in both ICE and hybrid powertrains, while Stanyl® TW341 and Stanyl® TW441 often achieve lowest wear and highest durability performance. All three grades are PTFE-free.

Envalior’s research also showed that PTFE-free Stanyl® resists frictional heat and wear and tear better than PTFE-containing alternatives such as PA66, POM and PPAs. Stanyl®  also showed promising performance when combined with PTFE-free lubricating greases, enabling a fully PFAS-free system-level solution.

“Stanyl  PA46 is the highest temperature polyamide available on the market, with strong potential to meet performance needs in many applications without the use of PTFE,” Bach and Hasanovic concluded.

Materials that will protect battery cells and increase overall vehicle safety

When it comes to selecting the right materials when designing plastic components for a battery system, Julian Haspel, advanced development expert, new mobility, said engineering plastics offer cost attractiveness, functionality and excellent electrical properties.

In his session, “Navigating Material Selection for Battery System Plastic Parts,” Haspel explored the main application areas of battery systems: structural components, thermal management, the charging system, and HV components.

He said that housing components made with flame-retardant Envalior PA6 Durethan® offer a cost-effective solution for protecting battery cells, while minimizing the number of parts, simplifying the assembly process and reducing weight. 

For structural components, Haspel recommended only choosing fire-retardant grades if they are absolutely necessary, and being careful to choose the correct UL94 classification.

“Modern FR-recipes—depending on properties—have similar performance as non-FR- materials,” Haspel said.

For thermal management systems, Haspel noted that although indirect water-glycol cooling remains the current state-of-the-art, the trend is moving toward direct cooling by immersion in dielectric fluid.

“Proven compatibility of plastic and dielectric fluid  are crucial for function and safety for the entire vehicle lifetime, “ Haspel said. “Envalior’s product portfolio shows good compatibility with dielectric fluids: impact strength, stiffness, strength and dimensional stability remain on a very high level, the comparative tracking index and resistivities are not affected, and compounds with a flame-retardant system remain in their original UL classification.”

How data can help guide high-voltage engineering designs

In the session, “Electric Resistivity and High Voltage Breakdown Strength of Polyamides, Polyesters and PPS,” Rob Janssen, principal scientist, functional material properties, Envalior, presented data on the volume resistivity and dielectric breakdown strength of thermoplastics, and how the volume resistivity of a thermoplastic controls its high-voltage breakdown properties.

Janssen explained that PA, PBT and PPS, all semi-crystalline polymers, have an amorphous phase characterized by a glass-rubber transition temperature. Above this temperature, when the polymer is in its rubbery state, a small current will flow upon the application of a DC voltage. The electric field drives this charge carrier transport.

“Charge carrier motion is more restricted in the glassy phase and less restricted in the rubbery phase; therefore, the current is higher in the rubbery phase,” Janssen said. 

He added that resistivity depends on temperature, relative humidity and on the frequency of the applied voltage. PBT and PPS have a very constant and robust electrical performance irrespective of environmental conditions, Janssen noted.

“The electrical performance of polyamides drops off above the glass-rubber transition temperature, but the resistivity values and lower dielectric strength limits (at 85C/85%RH) are well characterized. Therefore, these data can serve to guide your high voltage engineering designs,” said Janssen.

Among the other topics covered at the forum were, “Material Solutions for the Transforming Residential Heating and Cooling Industry,” “Driving Safety in Automotive Part Design: CAE Material Cards for Crash Simulations,” “Exploring Advanced Welding Technologies for Engineering Materials,” and “Engineering Materials for Superior NVH Performance.”

Click here to view all EMF sessions on demand.




Candace Roulo

Global Manager of Messaging and Content Development

Candace Roulo is Global Manager of Messaging and Content Development for Envalior. Based in Troy, Michigan, she specializes in writing blogs and articles about advanced materials solutions. Prior to joining Envalior, Candace served in editorial roles at SME and Penton Media. Candace earned her bachelor’s degree in communication, specializing in public relations, at Michigan State University’s College of Communication Arts and Sciences.

Published on

28 June 2024


  • Blog
  • Event
  • Gears & Actuation
  • Automotive
  • Stanyl
  • Durethan