DSM Engineering Plastics' Akulon nylon will be used in all 1999 Volkswagen New Beetle engine covers. The material utilized in the development of the engine cover is Akulon K223-HGM24, a 10% glass fiber, 20% mineral reinforced resin that is specifically formulated for under-hood applications. The material provides the stiffness, high-temperature resistance and excellent surface appearance that is demanded for engine covers. In addition, the nylon 6 material was color matched to meet stringent VW standards, eliminating post-production painting. DSM says Nylon 6 demonstrates excellent impact resistance, good thermal stability, high abrasion and weathering resistance, excellent flow properties and resistance to a wide range of chemicals. Akulon nylons are in use in the automotive, consumer products, mechanical and electrical/electronic industries.

Inalfa Sunroof Makes its Debut

Nearly 40% of all 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokees will feature a factory-installed power sunroof. This is more than four times the industry average for sunroof installation, says Inalfa Roof Systems USA, the sunroof supplier for the redesigned Grand Cherokee. Inalfa's tilt-vent-slide sunroof is reinforced from front to back, providing stability in rugged off-road driving conditions. The sunroof also is thinner and lighter than Inalfa's previous design for Grand Cherokee, allowing for more headroom and driver comfort, says the company.

Project Team Crafts Pipe Coating System

Nearly 40% of all 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokees will feature a factory-installed power sunroof. This is more than four times the industry average for sunroof installation, says Inalfa Roof Systems USA, the sunroof supplier for the redesigned Grand Cherokee. Inalfa's tilt-vent-slide sunroof is reinforced from front to back, providing stability in rugged off-road driving conditions. The sunroof also is thinner and lighter than Inalfa's previous design for Grand Cherokee, allowing for more headroom and driver comfort, says the company.

Project Team Crafts Pipe Coating System

A project team comprised of engineers from Ford, Mark IV and Magni recently received a "Significant Achievement Award" for its work in engineering the next generation fuel filler pipe coating system. The new coating system, an aluminum-rich topcoat over zinc-nickel, is tested to deliver 15 years of corrosion protection as well as provide significant savings in terms of both processing time and cost. Ford's 1999 F-Series trucks and 1999 Expeditions will be the first vehicles to use this new coating technology.

TI Offers Variable Orifice Valve for Automotive AC

Bridging the cost and performance gap is a new Variable Orifice Valve (VOV) from Texas Instruments' materials and controls group, a high-performance cost-effective expansion device for automotive refrigerant systems. Located in the liquid refrigerant line between the condenser and the evaporator in the automobile's A/C loop, the VOV uses thermostatic bi-metal technology to react to condenser discharge temperatures, controlling variable restriction levels to provide superior performance for air conditioning systems. TI's new VOV is being used on a 1999 model year high-volume sport/utility vehicle being offered by a U.S.-based automaker. Unlike the fixed orifice tube (FOT), the VOV offers variable restriction levels. This results in optimal performance under all driving conditions from highways to city driving to idling, says TI. The VOV's low or zero superheat production results in lower compressor discharge temperatures, which helps increase compressor life.