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Resin shortages from German Evonik threaten to disrupt auto industry

April 25/2012

(canplastics) -- A deadly fire and explosion at a German chemical plant is creating big headaches for the global auto industry.

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."

Major automakers are reportedly concerned, but not yet panicked, about the situation. We are monitoring the situation and working with our suppliers, Ford spokesperson Todd Nissen said in a statement. At this point, we have not had any production disruptions. Nissen added that Ford has also not altered its future production schedule.
Author:Anna Larionova
Tags:car components, automobile chemistry.
Category:General News
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