International Truck Manufacturer Adopts Lightweight DuPont Plastic for Heavy Truck Oil Pan

Share Article

Lightweighting helps reduce emissions, improve fuel economy

red oval
The low melt viscosity DuPont polyamide flows easily into the complex thin section oil pan mould, allowing very precise tolerance control in such a large component.

Working together, DuPont Performance Polymers and ElringKlinger AG have made a significant contribution to the heavy truck industry’s drive for fuel efficiency and emissions reduction by developing a lightweight injection-moulded truck oil pan of DuPont™ Zytel® polyamide resin. Developed for an international truck manufacturer, the oil pan is up to 50 percent lighter than aluminium, and can resist stone and gravel chip impact during the typical 1.5 million kilometre lifetime of a truck or bus engine. There also is a 2dB reduction in noise level compared with metal.

Weight reduction translates into better fuel efficiency and sustainability for heavy-duty trucks, while helping to meet tough Euro 6 emission limits. The use of lightweight Zytel® polyamide resin makes lighter weight components possible with no loss of strength, and also enables the integration of functions that are not possible with metal, such as oil pick up pipes and fluid level sensors

“From 2013/2014, the Euro 6 emissions standard will launch a new generation of engines onto the roads; it imposes the same kind of strict emission limits for diesel as for petrol engines. This is why manufacturers are not only focusing on efficiently reducing exhaust gases, but also on lowering fuel consumption. With this in mind, they are pinpointing lighter-weight components in particular. The trend is toward oil pans made of polyamide 6.6 with a glass fibre content of 35 percent,” said Klaus Bendl, head of R&D, Elastomer Technology /Modules Division at ElringKlinger AG, Dettingen/Erms, Germany.

As a trend-setter in the transition to plastics for large oil pan mouldings, ElringKlinger selected a heat stabilized, lubricated grade of Zytel® polyamide, following four years of prototype production and more than 3 000 hours of endurance testing.

“There also is a significant improvement in acoustics – a 2dB reduction in noise level is much more than that achieved with competing products,” said Bendl, citing another advantage that plastics have over metals by helping to make engines quieter, in compliance with Euro 6 noise emission standards.

Truck oil pans are much larger and more complex than those for passenger cars, holding up to 10 times the volume of oil, and they must be considerably more robust in order to withstand truck engine lifetimes averaging 800,000 to 1.5 million kilometres.

ElringKlinger has succeeded in meeting those tough performance demands by commercializing two large but lightweight oil pan modules of Zytel® for new Mercedes-Benz 4 and 6-cylinder diesel engines. They weigh only 4.5 kg and 6.3 kg respectively — up to 50 percent lighter than their aluminium predecessors — and contribute to improved fuel economy and reduced emissions.

“In processing, Zytel® has excellent flowability which enabled ElringKlinger to achieve fast set up and moulding cycles. The low melt viscosity DuPont polyamide flows easily into the complex thin section oil pan mould, allowing very precise tolerance control in such a large component,” said Christoph Lange, DuPont Performance Polymers.

DuPont offers more than 100 materials and product families for the global automotive industry. Through its global application development network, DuPont Automotive is committed to collaborating with customers throughout the value chain to develop new products, materials, components and systems that help reduce dependence on fossil fuels and protect people and the environment. For more information, visit

DuPont Performance Polymers is committed to working with customers throughout the world to develop new products, components and systems that help reduce dependence on fossil fuels and protect people and the environment. With more than 40 manufacturing, development and research centers throughout the world, DuPont Performance Polymers uses the industry’s broadest portfolio of plastics, elastomers, renewably sourced polymers, filaments and high-performance parts and shapes to deliver cost-effective solutions to customers in aerospace, automotive, consumer, electrical, electronic, industrial, sporting goods and other diversified industries.

DuPont (NYSE: DD) has been bringing world-class science and engineering to the global marketplace in the form of innovative products, materials, and services since 1802. The company believes that by collaborating with customers, governments, NGOs, and thought leaders we can help find solutions to such global challenges as providing enough healthy food for people everywhere, decreasing dependence on fossil fuels, and protecting life and the environment. For additional information about DuPont and its commitment to inclusive innovation, please visit

# # #


The DuPont Oval Logo, DuPont™, The miracles of science™ and Zytel® are trademarks or registered trademarks of E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company or its affiliates.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Carole Davies
Email >
Visit website