Cost effective and Sustainable Alternate Material for Air Brake Tubings (ABT) in Commercial Vehicles 2014-01-2409
The automotive industry is constantly looking for new alternate material and cost is one of the major driving factors for selecting the right material. ABT is a safety critical part and care has to be taken while selecting the appropriate material. Polyamide (PA12)  is the commonly available material which is currently used for ABT applications. Availability and material cost is always a major concern for commercial vehicle industries.
This paper presents the development of ABT with an alternative material which has superior heat resistance. Thermoplastic Elastomer Ether Ester Block Copolymer (TEEE)  materials were tried in place Polyamide 12 for many good reasons. The newly employed material has better elastic memory and improved resistance to battery acid, paints and solvents. It doesn't require plasticizer for extrusion process because of which it has got excellent long term flexibility and superior kink resistance over a period of time. Also it has got better heat ageing properties and higher burst pressure at elevated temperature.
The development involves testing and characterization of the materials, making of prototypes and validations. Tubings were tested as per DIN 73378, DIN 74324 and ISO 7628 standards and found to meet the performance requirements. Approx. 20% cost savings is achieved through TEEE. This is one of the cost effective and sustainable solutions taken by Ashok Leyland Ltd and first of its kind in India.