Faurecia boosts automotive bioplastics

By Rhoda Miel
News Editor

Published: December 19, 2013 5:28 pm ET
Updated: December 19, 2013 5:36 pm ET

Image By: Peugeot The Peugeot 308 uses an injection molded biocomposite substrate, supplied by Faurecia SA, in the door panels.

Related to this story

Topics Automotive, Sustainability, Materials, Injection Molding

Auto supplier Faurecia SA has launched production of an injection molded bio-composite combining hemp and polypropylene in Europe, and is looking for opportunities to expand the technology to North America.

At the same time, the company is in development on an all-natural composite which would combine natural fillers with a plant-based resin.

Both developments come as the auto industry looks to reduce weight and decrease price fluctuations that come from more traditional materials.

“It’s only two product cycles now until we get to that (54.5 mile per gallon U.S. fuel economy) standard in 2025,” said Jay Hutchins, director of marketing and product planning for Faurecia North America during a Dec. 12 telephone interview.

Faurecia showed a range of natural material products during the Los Angeles Auto Show in November, and will also display them at an event during the press preview for the North American International Auto Show in Detroit Jan. 13-16.

Composites using renewable materials as a replacement for glass or talc in auto parts are not new. They have been in production for more than a decade, but typically used in compression molded parts.

Faurecia’s NafiLean is an injection molding material, which can be used on existing equipment, decreasing the costs of bringing it to market.

The company began making door panel substrates with it during the summer for two parts on the PSA Peugeot Citroen Group’s Peugeot 308.

“We’ve been doing compression molding for about 25 years now and with natural fiber for 10 or 15 years,” Hutchins said. “Those are great products for something with a relatively flat geometry without undercuts. When you talk about the upper part of the door, there is a lot of tight geometry.”

Hemp also offers an improved density level over glass or talk, so Faurecia can produce a thinner walled part with the same structural capabilities. In the case of the 308, it is saving 400 grams per door panel, he said.

Faurecia is continuing to test NafiLean’s prospects in other parts, especially instrument panels, and is looking at beginning production in the U.S. It is lining up material suppliers as well, including sources for hemp.

In testing, hemp has been the best natural material for bio-composites because it works best with the PP chemistry, although U.S. laws restrict hemp production in the country. Other companies have sourced hemp from Canadian farmers for compression molded parts.

The next step beyond NafiLean will be an all-bio-based material, Hutchins said. Faurecia has collaborated with Mitsubishi Chemicals and other partners to develop BioMat, which would combine natural fillers with a bio-based resin.

“The next step in evolution is BioMat,” he said. “The idea is 100 percent green content. You could isolate yourself from fluctuations in the oil market that affect resin prices now.”

Faurecia expects the injection molded BioMat could make it into cars in 2016.


Comments

Faurecia boosts automotive bioplastics

By Rhoda Miel
News Editor

Published: December 19, 2013 5:28 pm ET
Updated: December 19, 2013 5:36 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Globalization brings sizable growth, primarily in Asia

November 25, 2014 1:40 pm ET

In 1990, the year after Plastics News published our first issue, there were 33,000 injection molding machines sold worldwide. Fast forward to 2013,...    More

Image

Uni Cap to build cap molding plant in Jordan

November 25, 2014 12:57 pm ET

The Persian Gulf's largest molder of caps and closures is investing $10 million in a new factory near Amman, Jordan, as part of an effort to boost...    More

Image

World Plastics Council takes on sustainbility for its initial priorities

November 25, 2014 9:51 am ET

The recently formed World Plastics Council (WPC) has set marine debris and post-consumer recycling and energy recover as its initial top priorities.    More

Image

Canada's Papp Plastics is eyeing big opportunities with JV in Mexico

November 24, 2014 4:11 pm ET

Canadian injection molder and turnkey solution provider Papp Plastics & Distributing Ltd. will open an $11 million to $12 million joint venture...    More

Image

AMA Plastics adds presses, changes management structure

November 24, 2014 3:57 pm ET

AMA Plastics Inc. has strengthened its management structure, received recognition for entrepreneurship, achieved quality improvements and added three ...    More

Market Reports

Plastics in Brazil - State of the Industry Report

This in-depth report examines the Brazilian plastics industry from a historical and geographical context. Our analysts provide insight on economic trends and forecasts, growing manufacturing sectors that utilize plastics, private investment opportunities, market environment challenges, and innovations in R&D.

Data tables and charts on producer prices, trade, plastics production and end market indicators is also included.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Injection Molders Market Report & Ranking 2014

This special package contains our 132-page 2014 Market Report on the Injection Molding segment and our exclusive 2014 RANKINGS database of 500+ Injection Molders for a discounted package price.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

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

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

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

October 27, 2015 - October 29, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - New York - 2015

More Events