“Lightweight” and “environmental protection” are eternal topics in the field of vehicle materials. In recent years, plastics and composites have become more and more popular in car manufacturing due to excellent characteristics in terms of lightweight, beautiful appearance, anti-corrosion, and design flexibility. Whether in interiors & exteriors, or functional and structural parts, the shadows of plastics and composites can be seen everywhere. The application feature of exteriors is “plastic instead of steel”, to reduce the weight of vehicles. Exteriors parts include bumpers, fenders, wheel covers, deflectors (aerodynamic panels), etc.. Interiors mainly refer to the dashboard, inner door panel, auxiliary dashboard, glove box cover, seats, rear guard panels and so on.

Continuous Fiber Reinforced Thermoplastic A-Pillar 3

Continuous Fiber Reinforced Thermoplastic A-Pillar

The lightweight A-pillar of Porsche 3D hybrid design also includes a ribbed structure made of high-strength steel to ensure the anti-rollover property same as steel A-pillars. The highlight is about 5kg weight cut. Components using hybrid composite materials also include reinforced beams, B-pillars, C-pillars, battery bearing parts, and door panels.

Thermoplastic Composite Door Panel

The thermoplastic composite door panel launched by Brose Motors integrates the window regulator, speaker, wiring harness assembly, sensor, door trim panel bracket, and door lock. The substrate is made of continuous glass fiber reinforced polypropylene, and the substrate wall thickness is only 0.6 mm (while the ordinary plastic products are usually 1.8 mm). 40% of weight can be reduced. Installed on a 0.7mm steel door, the composite door module saves up to 5kg weight from installing traditional glass lifters. In addition to lightweight, thermoplastic composite door module substrates also have excellent acoustic properties and stronger energy absorption.

Thermoplastic Composite Door Panel 2
Thermoplastic Composite Car Interiors 2

Thermoplastic Composite Car Interiors

Renolit Gor SPA promotes 100% recyclable thermoplastic composite solutions for automotive interior parts. Successful applications of this new generation of thermoformed sheets and coils include auto parts such as parcel shelves, load floors, seatbacks, instrument panel inserts, and trunk panels. It is a safe, clean, 100% recyclable product of glass fiber reinforced PP-based lightweight thermoplastic composite. It is specially designed for the cost-effective production of car interiors. The production cost is also much lower because it can be 3D molded in one step with no glue.

With the promotion of technological innovation and strict regulations, especially in terms of fuel efficiency, the automotive industry has also asked more for plastic parts. The research of automobile lightweight and environmental protection technology has matured the application of innovative composite materials, and at the same time will usher in greater development opportunities.

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