Meeting mpg standards will require collaboration

By Bill Bregar
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: December 27, 2012 6:00 am ET

Bruce Benda of Bayer MaterialScience says automakers will be taking 600 pounds of weight out of the average vehicle to help meet CAFE. (Plastics News photo by George’s Photo & Video)

Related to this story

Topics Automotive, Sustainability, Materials, Suppliers

LIVONIA, MICH. (Dec. 27, 12:10 p.m. ET) — Companies will have to work together closely to meet the aggressive corporate average fuel economy and boost recycled content in cars, speakers from Johnson Controls Inc. and Bayer MaterialScience AG said at the Plastics in Lightweight Vehicles conference.

“You feel like sometimes that everything that needs to be developed has been developed,” said Bruce Benda, who oversees the North American automotive and transportation market for Bayer MaterialScience. That’s not the case, now, as government regulations that boost CAFE standards to 54.5 mpg by 2025 will spur innovation.

Fuel efficiency has remained pretty flat since 1980, even though gas prices have gone up 200 percent during that time.

“Fuel economy, cost reduction is a reality for our business,” Benda said. “These are huge challenges that the automakers and their supply base have to deal with.” Benda said automakers will be taking up to 600 pounds of weight out of the average vehicle to help meet CAFE. Ford Motor Co. announced plans to take off up to 750 pounds.

Benda said Bayer’s Bayflex polyurethane, reinforced with milled carbon fibers, is finding applications in fenders, where it saves 35 pounds vs. steel fenders.

In another application, Baypreg composite, a PU sandwich structure, can use a core of many different materials, including cardboard.

One key will be new adhesives to link composite and metal parts together, Benda said. “There needs to be new bonding concepts being put together,” he said.

Another speaker, Dan Koester, Johnson Controls’ director of new product technology, talked about sustainability and combinations of steel and structural composites. He cited a bioplastic project with Ford to study seven bio-based materials for a door panel, such as polylactic acid and wheat straw.

Koester said JCI’s ComfortThin seat uses less plastic, by replacing PU foam with coil springs.

JCI is involved with a German research project called CAMISMA to combine steel and light alloys with fiber-reinforced composites. One application: a composite car seat backrest. The automotive sector will pursue hybrid, multimaterial parts in the quest to shave off weight, he said.

CAMISMA researchers are trying to use recycled carbon fiber, when possible, and in-situ polymerization, where the monomer polymerizes during the process.

“We’re thinking of this as a high-volume solution for the industry,” Koester said.

See Plastics News' video coverage of Plastics in Lightweight Vehicles, including interviews with light-car designers, at plasticsnews.com/video.


Comments

Meeting mpg standards will require collaboration

By Bill Bregar
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: December 27, 2012 6:00 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Milacron commits $30 million to investment in India

August 20, 2014 5:42 pm ET

MUMBAI — Cincinnati-based Milacron LLC plans to invest $30 million over the next three years in India. The investments will double capacity at...    More

Image

Automakers look under the hood for the next lightweighting opportunities

August 20, 2014 1:06 pm ET

The automotive industry's current favorite target for lightweighting efforts is the powertrain, according to a recent survey.    More

Image

GameDay Challenge expands the competition to the recycling bin

August 20, 2014 10:23 am ET

GameDay Recycling Challenge is returning this year as college football stadiums will compete to see which school produces the least amount of waste...    More

Image

Cooper-Standard JV to focus on Asia

August 20, 2014 10:17 am ET

Cooper Standard Automotive Inc. is forming Cooper Standard Inoac Pte. Ltd. — a joint venture with Inoac Corp. of Japan — to expand the...    More

Image

Ohio molder sold to private equity firm

August 19, 2014 5:23 pm ET

Private equity firm TVV Capital of Nashville has acquired injection molder Design Molded Plastics Inc. for an undisclosed price.    More

Market Reports

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook North America

This in-depth report analyzes economic and market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as growth strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies.

Learn more

Pipe, Profile & Tubing Extrusion in North America 2014

U.S. demand for extruded plastics is expected to grow by 3 percent in 2014, with PVC remaining the largest segment.

Plastic pipe will post the strongest gains through 2018, continuing to take market share from competing materials in a range of markets.

Our latest market report provides in-depth analysis of current trends and their financial impact on the pipe, profile and tubing extrusion industry in North America.

Learn more

2014 Injection Molding Industry Report

GROWTH, OPPORTUNITY IN SIGHT FOR INJECTION MOLDERS IN 2014

In the wake of the economic turbulence earlier in this decade, molders today find themselves in much better shape. Molders are gaining a competitive advantage by investing in people, equipment and seeking inroads into new markets on a global scale.

Growth in the injection molding industry is going to be driven by low financing costs and a continued move to reshore some business.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events