175°C-Capable Thermoplastic Elastomers for Automotive Air Management and Sealing Applications
Flexibility, oil resistance, and the need for heat resistance to 150°C-plus temperatures have traditionally limited automotive design engineers to two options - thermoset rubber or heat-shielding conventional thermoplastic elastomers (TPE). Both of these options present limitations in part design, the ability to consolidate the number of components in a part of assembly, and on total cost. This paper presents a class of high-performance, flexible thermoplastic elastomers based on dynamically vulcanized polyacrylate (ACM) elastomer dispersed in a continuous matrix of polyamide (PA) thermoplastic. These materials are capable of sustained heat resistance to 150°C and short-term heat resistance to 175°C, without requiring heat shielding. Recent advancements in blow molding and functional testing of the PA//ACM TPEs for automotive air management (ducts) and underhood sealing applications will be shown.