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Carbon Fiber-Reinforced Injection Molded Composite Replaces Machined Aluminum in Automotive Oil Control Valve

CFRP Injection Molded Composite Replaces Machined Aluminum in Oil Control Valve

Metal-to-composite conversion reduces cost, weight, improves engine performance; material debuts at SPE ACCE this September

Phoenix, Ariz. – An Asian automaker has replaced machined aluminum with a unique carbon fiber-reinforced composite in an injection molded oil control valve within the variable valve timing system that controls engine intake and exhaust. The high-performance thermoplastic valve (2-8 valves per vehicle depending on engine size) reduces cost and weight and improves engine response time, hence engine performance. Called Sumiploy™ CS5530 resin, the polymer is produced by Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd. (Tokyo) and sold in North America by Sumitomo Chemical Advanced Technologies LLC (here), which will exhibit at the 18th-annual Society of Plastics Engineers’ Automotive Composites Conference & Exhibition (SPE® ACCE) from September 5-7 in the Detroit suburbs.

Sumiploy resin is a unique formulation of Sumitomo’s SumikaExcel™ polyethersulfone (PES) resin plus chopped carbon fiber and a proprietary additive package that boosts wear resistance and dimensional stability. The resulting high-performance composite offers excellent thermal resistance, good dimensional stability and long-term creep resistance over a broad temperature range, good impact strength, chemical resistance to aromatic hydrocarbons like gasoline, ethanol, and engine oil, inherent flame retardance, and high environmental stress-crack resistance (ESCR). Unlike many other high-temperature thermoplastics that are challenging to mold, Sumiploy CS5530 resin is high-flow, making it easier to mold high-precision 3D geometries in thin walls.

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