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Barrier Films in Fuel and Air-conditioning Pipes
Elastomer-based pipes have an incomparable flexibility. Nevertheless, they are permeable to gases and particularly to gasoline vapors or coolant in automotive air-conditioning circuits.
Hutchinson has developed pipes with thermoplastic films that act like “barrier” layers and oppose effusion of gases, in order to satisfy this need.
This part is located between the filling pipe and the tank, and must be flexible so that it does not break in the case of a shock.
Hutchinson has developed a robust concept combining flexibility and impermeability. The pipe is composed of a thin thermoplastic-based barrier layer covered by a fuel-resistant elastomer.
This solution (the most impermeable one available on the market) reduces the permeability of the pipe by a factor of 10, and satisfies the most demanding environmental standards.
Once again, the challenge is environmental. Freon R 134a is a gas that contributes to greenhouse effects and standards require that the permeability of our pipes should be reduced. A thin film has been embedded in the pipe inner layer to achieve this, which makes the structure very impermeable while maintaining good flexibility.