Celanese Corp. is taking "a very customer-centric approach" to sustainability.
"We look at key trends because customers can have different priorities," Global Sustainability Leader Steffi Götzel said at Fakuma 2023. "Overall, it's about the shift from fossil-based to renewable materials, whether those are bio-based or recycled content."
In a recent example, Dallas-based Celanese worked with Tier 2 automotive parts supplier Trelleborg Boots to design a suspension jounce bumper that can be made without a base cup, ring or dust cover bellow. The design includes a snap-fit assembly that improves durability and eliminates strut contact so there's no added friction, abrasion nor wear noise.
The new jounce bumper is press blow molded from Celanese's Hytrel TPC-brand TPE. It's expected to be more durable than ones made with polyurethane foam, the incumbent material for this application.
Götzel said Trelleborg was looking to improve its carbon footprint and also wanted "more recyclable solutions."
"The key driver is performance, but a material also has to fulfill design needs," Götzel added. "We can reduce the number of parts, weight or the number of materials used."
Material selection also depends on "the maturity of the customer," according to Götzel. "Some customers know what they want in a sustainable material; others are early in the journey and are still collecting data," she added.
Celanese also is launching a new Santoprene thermoplastic vulcanizate ECO-R grade, which Götzel said is easier to recycle than thermoset rubber. The material is being used in a carbon-neutral garden hose, which officials said is the first on the market.
The new Santoprene ECO-R solutions incorporate post-consumer content. Two grades are already available with at least 15 percent recycled content. Celanese estimates these materials can reduce carbon emissions by up almost 60 percent compared with a similar part made with ethylene propylene diene monomer rubber.
Celanese also is launching two new nylon solutions for manufacturers of electric vehicle powertrain components and EV battery applications. The Frianyl PA-brand W-Series of flame-retardant nylon solutions can be used in large, thick-walled, flame-retardant components for EV batteries.