Through highs and lows, the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE; Brookfield, CT) Automotive Innovation Awards have motored on, and on Nov. 9, the venerable event named its 40th class of honorees in Livonia, MI. The evening's biggest winner, taking home the powertrain category and grand award prizes, was the diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) system from Ford Motor Co. for its 2011 model-year SuperDuty pickup truck. The entire system, which includes a clampless fillerpipe assembly, supply module with integrated pump, reverting valve, pressure sensor, heater, and filtration unit, was supplied by Robert Bosch LLC and Kautex Textron GmbH & Co. KG, with plastic content of 90%.
The first high-volume pickup application to use an all-plastic system to fill, store, and deliver diesel-exhaust fluid (DEF) to the exhaust system, the technology helped Ford satisfy diesel-emissions requirements. Presenters noted that the only other material that could have withstood the DEF fluid would be stainless steel at 7 times the weight of the plastic solution and 40% higher cost....