US committee approves testing process for nylon-12 replacements

01 May 2012 21:07  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--A committee has approved a design verification plan and report (DVP&R) to speed up the testing process for nylon-12 replacement materials, an automobile industry group said on Tuesday.

“This DVP&R will speed up the replacement of materials, while still ensuring that proper industry minimum requirements and testing are conducted,” the Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG) said. “OEMs [original equipment manufacturers] and suppliers have collaborated on defining the requirements for this interim DVP&R document.”

Supplies of nylon 12, also called polyamide 12 (PA 12), reached a critical level after a deadly explosion last month at an Evonik cyclododecatriene (CDT) plant in Marl, Germany. CDT is a feedstock for nylon 12, which is used in several automotive components, including fuel and brake lines.

Evonik has said they are working to get the plant back on line by December. The blast killed two people.

The AIAG held a summit last month to address the shortage and discuss the industry’s options. It included producers, auto makers and suppliers.

From it, six committees were formed - two to discuss replacements for nylon 12 and supply chain alternatives and four dedicated to specific auto components.

Several companies have offered to replace nylon 12 with other products such as nylon 6, 12; nylon 6, 10; and nylon 10.

But manufacturers have to be sure the materials are a safe and adequate replacement for the original materials.

AIAG business director David Lalain said the new DVP&R can get the testing process down to about three weeks.

Last week, he estimated that there may be four to six weeks of nylon supply globally.

The new testing protocols fall right into that timeframe, Lalain said.

“We may avert any kind of shutdown,” he said. “North America is luckier in this regard, because the PA 12 we are buying comes from overseas, it is on ships and warehouses. Europe has less of a supply line, so there is less of a buffer.”

By: Bobbie Clark
+1 713 525 2653

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