Research and Innovation

RESEARCH

Plastic Omnium’s researchers, at the Auto Inergy Division, bring new value propositions to car manufacturers by pioneering new functions, technologies, industrial processes and engineering.

Multi-disciplinary teams of experts deliver these innovations in a timely manner.

Regulations

 

Fuels

 

Materials

 

NVH

 

System Control

 

Collaboration

 

Plastic Omnium experts monitor global automotive regulations and participate in the development of new regulations.

Evaporative Emissions result when the temperature of a fuel system increases and the fuel vapors expand. It is well known that pollutants from a vehicle exhaust can harm human health and the environment, but the effects of uncontrolled evaporative emissions are just as critical. Evaporative emissions regulations require fuel system designs which contain fuel vapors or capture them in a carbon canister. Fuel systems materials and joints must prevent permeation and leaks.

Three variables control the severity of an evaporative emissions test:

  • The test temperature. Higher temperatures create more fuel expansion and more emissions.
  • The test duration. Longer tests have more fuel vapor to contain or trap.
  • The test fuel. Fuels with a high alcohol content or high volatility are more chemically aggressive and generate more vapors.
Location Regulation Name Test Temperature Test Duration Test Fuel Vehicle Emissions Limit Application date
European Union Euro 6 20-35C 1 day 5% ethanol 2.0 g/day Current
US:EPA EPA Tier II enhanced 72-96F 3 day Unleaded gasoline 0.5g/day Current
US: CARB LEV II 65-105F 3 day Unleaded gasoline 0.5 g/day Current
US:EPA EPA Tier III 72-96F 3 day 10% ethanol 0.3g/day 2018
US: CARB LEV III 65-105F 3 day 10% ethanol 0.3g/day 2018
Japan Post New Long Term 20-35C 1 day Unleaded gasoline 2.0 g/day Current
South Korea KLEV 2 72-96F 2 day Unleaded gasoline 1.2g/test Current
South Korea KLEV 3 72-96F 3 day Unleaded gasoline 0.35g/day 2018
Brazil PROCONVE L6 72-96F 2 hour 22% ethanol 2.0g/test Current
China China 5 20-35C 1 day Unleaded gasoline 2g/test Current (Bejing Shanghai only)
 

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RESEARCH LEADER

– Wilfrid Schön

Vice-President Research

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The arrival of bio-fuels and globalization explain today's wide diversity of automotive fuels on the market. In this context, monitoring automotive fuels evolution is key.

This global diversity directly impacts the design of fuel systems especially regarding the choice of materials and of fuel system components. Our systems have to be fully validated for all fuel compositions the vehicle might see during its operating life.

Plastic Omnium monitors automotive fuels evolution, designs systems to be compatible with all types of fuels and responds to the most stringent fuel venting, filling and emissions regulations.

From fossil fuels (Gasoline or Diesel) to biofuels (Ethanol or BioDiesel), Plastic Omnium closely monitors the composition of the blends and actively contributes to the elaboration of standards for vehicle certification.

The accurate assessment of fluid uptake and swelling properties guides material and component choices.

Venting architecture is designed taking into account fuel vapor pressure, using dedicated valves to avoid liquid carry-over, and carefully dimensioning carbon canister.

Feeding and gauging functions integrate relevant knowledge about fuels as well.

Whatever the fuel, there will always be a compliant Plastic Omnium solution.

 

 

Dedicated mini-SHED equipment and techniques are used to measure very low emissions and provide reliable results.

CONTACT OUR RESEARCH LEADER

– Wilfrid Schön

Vice-President Research

Get in touch

Diversity of materials for product performance

More than 20 different types of materials are used in a fuel system. Most are thermoplastics (HDPE, PA, POM, EVOH), with also some thermosets (NBR, FKM) and metals (aluminum, steel). Plastic Omnium is a major Tier 1 supplier operating a permanent active tech watch to find new materials and optimize products, to address leading demands. As fuel tank system is a vehicle safety part, materials have to pass through a validation process to prove “fit for purpose”, including:

  • Short and long term mechanical performance (tensile, impact) at low, ambient and high temperatures (tensile, impact at ambient & low temperatures).
  • Chemical resistance (urea, salts).
  • Fuel compatibility (gasoline, diesel, biofuels).
  • Electrical properties (in case of ESD components).

Material approval

The approval procedures are complex; consisting in 3 steps: Passing internal protocols(1) Passing OEM’s material requirements(2) Validation of the component using the new substance(3). Numerical simulations being more often used in the development of new platforms, each material has to be characterized according to the model used. This ranges from high-speed solicitations (e.g. crash test) to low-time scales. Therefore, the Auto Inergy division has built a methodology to take into account all the specifics for fuel and SCR applications.

The End of Life Recycling

European legislation 2000/53 targets reuse/recycling ratio for End of Life (EOL) cars to 95% in 2015. Between 1998 and 2001 Plastic Omnium ran a research program with several partners under a BRITE-EURAM program for assessing the feasibility of recycling HDPE fuel tanks disassembled EOL cars. Main achieved results are:

  • The definition of a regeneration process, validated at a pilot scale, from car disassembling through reuse on new cars.
  • An economical analysis of the long-term viability of the whole chain.
  • A Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) demonstrating the positive environmental impact versus alternatives like incineration or landfill.
 

CONTACT OUR
RESEARCH LEADER

– Wilfrid Schön

Vice-President Research

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Noise-Vibration-Harshness

Since 20 years, exterior noise emissions of personal cars have been reduced by 8, mainly due to regulations evolutions.

As interior noise is decreasing as well, some secondary emission sources previously masked by the most dominant sources are now emerging. Amongst these sources we find fuel tank slosh noise caused by fuel waves motion inside of the tank, and fuel pump noise.
If not correctly handled, fuel system noise may impact the brand value of the vehicle and lead to customer complaints.

Fuel system suppliers become more and more involved into the global NVH performance of the vehicle.

In order to face these new challenges, Plastic Omnium has acquired the right expertise to integrate the acoustical performance of the fuel system into the product development.

NVH methodologies are adapted to the specificity of fuel system noise and a global approach allows reaching the right noise performance.
The successful implementation of the NVH methodology is demonstrated by the INBAFFLE family, which gives the answer to slosh noise problems for many fuel system architecture and manufacturing processes, including TSBM.

 

CONTACT OUR
RESEARCH LEADER

– Wilfrid Schön

Vice-President Research

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System Control for onboard fluid management

Worldwide leader in the development and manufacturing of fuel tank systems, the Auto Inergy division already expanded its perimeter, leveraging on its fuel storage and distribution competencies, with the development and commercial launch of its own SCR product line, which products have the specificity of integrating an Electronic Control unit for fluid (urea) management.
Since then, we developed and constantly improved our electronics capabilities.

From the extension of our perimeter to the development of a new expertise

The commercial launch of DINOx motivated us to review the global architecture of controlled systems, and develop a new expertise field.

The Auto Inergy division introduced Requirement Management and V-Cycle Development from initial Controlled System view to global System Validations to manage the specificities of an active system. This includes the development of control strategies for the whole perimeter, development of specific actuators, sensors and Electronic Control Units (ECU). Considered as the heart of the Controlled System, the ECU is tuned according to the specificity of the system design and interfaces.

When developing new System Control devices, for each project, the Control Unit is adapted with regards to its Electronic requirements, pin-out, mechanics, Communication Standard Software for the interfaces with the vehicle.

Plastic Omnium develops global control strategies, global diagnosis of the system, including plausibility of the system operation, and strives to standardize systems as much as possible. It relies on a broad group of suppliers of electronic actuators, sensors, and controllers to constantly develop the best controlled systems for fluid management.

Also, system validation and qualification are key. Plastic Omnium introduced the qualification of the system with Hardware in the Loop tools, and complete Controlled System Validation Plans.

Relying on its transverse expertise, and adding System Control as a new competency, Plastic Omnium’s Auto Inergy division is now able to deliver complete electronics management Hardware and Software along with its diesel emission reduction systems.

 

CONTACT OUR
RESEARCH LEADER

– Wilfrid Schön

Vice-President Research

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Collaboration: Innovation through Research partnerships

As an innovation minded company, Plastic Omnium recognizes that to innovate, the divisions must join forces with others to complement their competencies to continue to improve the state of the art in their domain.

Plastic Omnium highly values efficient research partnerships and advanced collaboration work.
The Auto Inergy division is used to collaborate on advanced subjects with partners.
These partners are OEMs, Innovative companies, research institutes and universities.
We share the same goal to bring to market sustainable innovations.

 

CONTACT OUR
RESEARCH LEADER

– Wilfrid Schön

Vice-President Research

Get in touch
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