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August 22, 2019 by Polyvance
More Plastics Being Used In and On Vehicles
According to the Automotive News August 12th edition, Austrian plastic resin manufacturer, Borealis (2018 sales of $9.3 billion) is making a $15 million investment in a new plant in Taylorsville, NC that will supply BMW and other automakers in the Southeastern US.
The plant will give Borealis the capacity to produce 30,000 metric tons of thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) and short glass fiber compounds. According to Automotive News, "Borealis only began making short glass fiber compounds in 2016. But its acceptance has been rapid as a means of reducing vehicle weight by substituting plastics for metal.
The article goes on to say that "electrification is driving some of the interest in new materials. Automakers are keen to reduce weight to extend the battery range of their electric vehicles. And the conversion to battery power means thermoplastics are more viable for under-the-hood parts, since temperatures are cooler in the absence of internal combustion engines."
The article quotes Roland Janssen, general sales manager for the Americas at Borealis, as saying "operating at a lower heat makes it feasible to use polypropylene as a substitute to metal. It's a tremendous opportunity for us to expand the number of applications in the vehicle where polypropylene can be used -- in the interior, in exterior parts, or under the hood."
The article shows that the lightweighting trend that began in reaction to the 52 mpg fuel economy mandate during the Obama administration shows no sign of abating as the OEMs become more focused on electric vehicles. Plastic repair skills are vital and will continue to be in the next decade. Contact us for information on our plastic repair products and training.
Click here to read the full article from Automotive News.