Pioneering developments in high performance polypropylenes under the bonnet and on the vehicle exterior, to be shown at IZB in Wolfsburg, Germany on October 6-8, demonstrate how materials made by Borealis, a leading provider of chemical and innovative plastics solutions, are gaining a foothold in an increasing number of automotive applications. The focus of these solutions is not only on aesthetics and unit cost savings but also reflects the more recent focus in automotive parts engineering on weight reduction and fuel efficiency.
Air intake manifolds (AIMs) - Ever since plastics began substituting cast metal in cars over 20 years ago, glass reinforced polyamides have been so far the material of choice for this extremely demanding application. With its Xmod™ GB306SAF material, Borealis achieved a paradigm shift in this area. For the first time, AIMs are being moulded in a high-performance glass reinforced Borealis PP compound. The Xmod AIMs are used for the 1.4L and 1.6L Volkswagen engines in its Golf, Polo, Seat and Skoda models. Xmod contributes to improved production cost-efficiency and lower overall production costs, thanks to its lower processing temperatures and lower density, which enable weight reductions of up to 15% and less energy usage.
Daimler Smart Fortwo - Originally equipped with vertical body panels injection moulded in a blend of polycarbonate and thermoplastic polyester (PC/PBT), Daimler's Smart Fortwo is now clad in Borealis' Daplen™ ED230HP elastomer modified PP (TPO). The switch was made in order to meet new specifications regarding improved environmental performance and higher quality aesthetics. The new parts weigh 15% less than their predecessors. Daplen also more than satisfies requirements relating to weather resistance paint (clear coat) adhesion, part dimensional stability and production economics.
VW Touareg bumper fascias - Daplen grades have also been chosen for bumper fascias on new VW vehicles. Daplen VB4411, a TPO containing 10% mineral filler, was chosen for the VW Touareg, where the customer called for a material with very low thermal expansion and a solution that would yield parts with "zero gap" dimensional tolerance.
VW Caddy bumper fascia- Another mineral-filled grade, Daplen EH104AE, was selected for the latest version of the Caddy small van, meeting requirements for high flow and reduced cycle time. Since the fascia is used unpainted, there had to be no evidence of "tiger stripes," an effect created by unstable flow. In this application, the challenge was complicated by the fact that the Daplen grade had to work in a mould originally designed for another material, so its shrinkage properties had to be identical.
"The IZB show is an important venue for us to meet with our downstream partners all along the automotive value chain," says Harald Hammer, Vice President for the business unit Mobility at Borealis. "The examples we are showcasing show how our new organisation structure into specific automotive OEM teams translates in reality. The close cooperation with our customers leads to the most cost-effective solutions to their needs for increased manufacturing efficiency, vehicle performance and safety, and environmental responsibility."
Borealis' presence at IZB will also highlight the company's ongoing investment in supply capabilities and partnerships to strengthen its on-the-ground support for the automotive market. A new 50,000 tonnes compounding plant was just recently inaugurated by Borealis' joint venture Borouge and there are already plans to build a second compounding plant in China.
For more information meet Borealis at Stand 224 during the IZB International Suppliers Fair.
Borealis Business Unit Mobility
Borealis' Mobility business specialises in supplying advanced polyolefin plastics to leading manufactures in the automotive industry. The portfolio of products includes materials for exterior, interior and under the bonnet applications, such as bumpers, body panels, trims, dashboard, door cladding, climate control units, air intake manifolds as well as battery cases. Through close collaboration with our customers, innovative technologies and our extensive product portfolio, Borealis has established a leading position on the automotive market across Europe and South America.
Borealis is a leading provider of chemical and innovative plastics solutions that create value for society. With sales of EUR 4.7 billion in 2009, customers in over 120 countries, and 5,200 employees worldwide, Borealis is owned 64% by the International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) of Abu Dhabi and 36% by OMV, the leading energy group in the European growth belt. Borealis is headquartered in Vienna, Austria, and has production locations, innovation centers and customer service centers across Europe and the Americas. Through Borouge, a joint venture between Borealis and the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), one of the world’s major oil companies, the company’s footprint reaches out to the Middle East, Asia Pacific, the Indian sub-continent and Africa. Established in 1998, Borouge employs approximately 1,400 people, has customers in more than 50 countries and its headquarters are in Abu Dhabi in the UAE and Singapore.
Building on the unique Borstar® technology and their experience in polyolefins of more than 50 years, Borealis and Borouge provide innovative, value creating plastics solutions for the infrastructure (pipe systems and power and communication cables), automotive and advanced packaging markets. In addition, Borealis offers a wide range of base chemicals from melamine and plant nutrients to phenol and acetone.
Today Borealis (borealisgroup.com) and Borouge (borouge.com) have a manufacturing capacity of over 4 million tonnes of polyolefins (polyethylene and polypropylene) per year. Borouge is currently tripling its polyolefins manufacturing capacity to 2 million tonnes per year (t/y) by mid-2010 and an additional 2.5 million t/y is scheduled for 2013. The companies continue to invest to ensure that their customers throughout the value chain, across the globe, can always rely on product quality, consistency and security of supply.
Borouge and Borealis are committed to the principles of Responsible Care® and proactively contribute to addressing the world’s water and sanitation challenges through their Water for the World™ (waterfortheworld.net) initiative.