CHICAGO — Polypropylene materials from Borealis AS are offering lighter weight and sustainability in the auto market.
“Lightweighting is the main trend,” applications marketing manager Gisela Lehner said Oct. 2 at the 2014 Global Plastics Summit in Chicago. Borealis PP resins have reduced weight in instrument panel carriers in the 2014 Volkswagen Golf, a top-selling global vehicle, she added. The Golf uses more than 200 pounds of plastics overall — well above the average of 120-140 pounds for most vehicles.
Other Borealis PP resins and compounds can offer two-layer paintability instead of three-layer by eliminating the need for a primer. Some Borealis PP compounds also now contain 25-50 percent recycled content. Two new grades of PP compounds make use of natural wood fibers, which are less dense than talc-filled compounds, Lehner added.
Reducing each vehicle's carbon footprint also will become more important in the years ahead. “There will be many more cars on the road in developing nations,” she said.