According to the Association of French Automotive Plastic Partsmakers (GPA), the shortage of polyamide (PA) 6.6 is causing problems for its members. The price of this material has also reportedly increased by more than 40% since 2017.

PA 6.6 is highly resistant to high temperatures, which is why it is used in parts inside the engine compartment, such as air supply systems, filtration and cooling systems, and in other interior parts, from pedal units to door handles. Currently, five sites worldwide produce adiponitrile, one of the components required to PA 6.6, in France, Japan and the United States.

‘This material has been registered by carmakers for its technical properties, and the processes to approve new materials make it very difficult to find alternative solutions in the short term,’ said the GPA’s president, Luc Messien.

The GPA says that plastic automotive suppliers are requesting plastics manufacturers to quickly open new production lines and to secure their supply chain.

‘Breakdowns in the supply of PA 6.6 are due mainly to the fragility of the supply chain,’ said Armelle Dumont, MD of GPA. ‘Today, only 55% of Europe’s PA 6.6 production capacity is available. At the same time, current demand requires an increase in the production capacity. Hasn’t the time come to speed up investments in Europe and renovate the existing lines?’

This story is reprinted from material from GPA, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.