(canplastics) -- A deadly fire and
explosion at a German chemical plant is creating big headaches for the global
The explosion on March 31 at Evonik Industries, in the
North Rhine-Westphalia region of Germany, has resulted in a shortage of a
chemical compound used in plastic fuel and brake lines. Called CDT, it's a key
ingredient used in the manufacturing of PA-12, or Nylon-12, which is used to
make a specialized plastic for fuel and brake lines. PA-12 is favored because it
can withstand heat and can stand up to corrosive gasoline additives.
About 40 percent of the global supply of PA-12 was cut off after the
explosion, which killed two company employees. "A significant portion of the
global production capacity of PA-12 (Nylon-12) has been compromised," declared a
statement issued by the Automotive Industry Action Group. The chemical isn't
easily replaced, the group also said, noting, "These are highly engineered
products produced via a very complex manufacturing process."