Product News: Chemical Processing & Waste Management

Polyarylamide Plastic suits automotive fuel systems.

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Press Release Summary:

March 14, 2007 - Offering low-permeation barrier material for host of fuel system applications, Ixef® Polyarylamide Plastic can be used in 2-layer system to meet standards of EPA's Partial Zero Emission Vehicle and California Air Resource Board automotive and small off-road engine emission regulations. Resin also maintains mechanical properties in bio-diesel and ethanol-based fuels.

Solvay Advanced Polymers, LLC

4500 McGinnis Ferry Road, Alpharette, GA, 30005-3914, USA

Original Press Release

Solvay Advanced Polymers Unveils Modified Ixef(R) Polyarylamide Barrier Material for Automotive Fuel Systems

Press release date: March 2, 2007

DEARBORN, Mich., March 2 /-- Solvay Advanced Polymers, LLC, announced here today at the ITB Automotive Fuel Systems Conference the development of a newly modified formulation of its Ixef(R) polyarylamide plastic for use as a low-permeation barrier material in a host of fuel system applications. The Ixef low-permeation plastic can be used in a two-layer system that delivers exceptional barrier properties to meet the exacting standards of the EPA's Partial Zero Emission Vehicle (PZEV) and California Air Resource Board (CARB) automotive and small off-road engine emission regulations.

Unlike alternative barrier solutions such as ethylene vinyl alcohol copolymers (EVOH), the exceptional barrier resistant properties of Ixef resin don't require four or more additional material layers to be effective in fuel system environments. This can greatly reduce costs associated with investment in additional equipment. The new material is being aimed at manufacturers serving the small tank industry that produces commercial and consumer vehicles such as watercraft, lawnmowers and motorcycles, among others. In addition, low-permeation Ixef polymer is also in trials at several North American and European automotive OEMs for use in other fuel system applications such as filler tube components.

"You're seeing a true paradigm shift in our industry with automotive manufacturers leading the development of new, environmentally beneficial technologies," commented Maria Gallahue, Solvay Advanced Polymers' Global Market Manager. "In many cases, that innovation starts at the polymeric level, the material foundation upon which many of these new technologies are built. And with the Ixef polymer, we have a plastic that can help our customers meet the regulatory challenges in a very cost-effective way."

With polyethylene's inability to meet tightening regulations, fuel system suppliers are looking for options that will enable them to deliver components with both low permeation and which can be cost effectively produced and managed. For example, the available solutions to meet just the basic Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) I standards require investment in on-site/inline coating treatments. Or, manufacturers can look to offsite post-processing coating treatments. To meet LEV II standards, it becomes necessary to look at employing costly multi-layer equipment set-ups.

However, with Ixef low permeation plastic, even the most stringent PZEV regulatory requirements may be reached with a minimum quantity of layers. Two- and three-layer Ixef components deliver equivalent evaporative emissive results to five-layer EVOH constructions. The elimination of additional layers is due to Ixef plastic's superior fuel-resistant properties, enabling it to be uncompromised when in direct contact with today's fuels. In addition, extensive evaluations of our aromatic polyamide product slate show Ixef resin maintaining its mechanical properties in new fuels such as bio-diesel and ethanol-based fuels.

As small tank manufacturers face compliance with more stringent PZEV and CARB regulations, processors who have yet to invest in capital-intensive EVOH constructions now have a barrier solution that requires significantly lower capital outlay. However, those manufacturers who already have EVOH equipment can also benefit with the Ixef low-permeation plastic via optimized processing and capital equipment management.

For more information or questions about Ixef plastic, or to request samples or trials, please contact Solvay Advanced Polymers' toll-free technical service phone number at (800) 621-4557.

About Solvay Advanced Polymers Solvay Advanced Polymers produces more plastics with more performance than any other company in the world. This gives design engineers worldwide more ways to solve top design challenges in automotive, medical, electronics, aerospace and other demanding industries. Learn more at www.solvayadvancedpolymers.com .

Solvay is an international chemical and pharmaceutical Group with headquarters in Brussels. It employs some 29,000 people in 50 countries. In 2006, its consolidated sales amounted to EUR 9.4 billion, generated by its three sectors of activity: Chemicals, Plastics and Pharmaceuticals. Solvay (Euronext: SOLB.BE - Bloomberg: SOLB.BB - Reuters: SOLBt.BR) is listed on the Euronext stock exchange in Brussels. Details are available at www.solvay.com .

CONTACT: Mark Wheeler of Solvay Advanced Polymers, +1-770-772-8849, or mark.wheeler@solvay.com

Web site: http://www.solvayadvancedpolymers.com/ http://www.solvay.com/

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