An innovative polypropylene-based compound from Borealis, a leading provider of chemical and innovative plastics solutions, has enabled French car maker PSA to breathe new life into its best-selling hatchback, the 206.
Launched in 2009, the Peugeot 206+ is the restyled outcome of its famous ‘206’ model. In addition to several modifications to the interior and exterior applications, PSA Design modified in a unique and innovative way the front grill. While seeking to achieve a high quality metallic effect, PSA opted for a plastic in-mass solution which could deliver the same high-quality result as painting the grill.
PSA selected Borealis’ Daplen™ EH104E-0515, a grade developed specifically for automobile exteriors. Daplen EH104E-0515 contains a special pigment which provides the same effect the car maker was looking for without the painting process.
“The use of an in-mass metallic colour for aesthetical parts requires a high-flow material in order to reduce the weld lines to a minimum,” explains Thomas Rothmayer, Senior Application Development Engineer of Borealis’ Mobility Business Unit. “Daplen EH104AE is the perfect solution. Its excellent flowability reduces the number of injection points while maintaining a low pressure level.”
Daplen EH104E-0515 is a 10% mineral filled compound with a melt flow rate (MFR, 2.16 kg) of 40 g/10 min. This enables filling of challenging parts, even at relatively low injection pressures. Inclusion of UV stabilisers makes it highly suitable for outdoor unpainted applications. In the future, this grade colour will be used as a reference by Peugeot.
“The main challenge for injection moulded grills is hiding the weld lines, a common problem of in-mass colour solutions,” underlines Claude Nicot, Project Manager at PSA. “In this instance, the flowability of material is a real advantage. The reaction time and assistance of Borealis was invaluable as it enabled us to complete this project in short order and we are very satisfied with the result.”
“Painting adds considerable cost to the overall production process,” says Harald Hammer, Borealis Vice President for the Mobility Business Unit. “In addition, producing parts with the final surface effect already built in is more environmentally friendly than painting, despite all the advances in low-solvent paint systems. This project with PSA is just another example of our capability to develop innovative solutions in close collaboration with the Tier 1 supplier, in this case Plastic Omnium, and PSA as the OEM. I believe the effect achieved with the new compound is superb and specifically fulfils the customer needs.”
Mobility Business Units
Borealis' and Borouge's Mobility Business Units specialise 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 and Borouge have established a leading position in the automotive market across Europe, South America and Asia.
Both companies find that customer-driven innovation is the only way to achieve and sustain progress. Through foresight and focus on customer needs, we continue to provide innovative solutions for the automotive industry that add real value throughout the value chain. We also know the high value that our customers in the automotive industry place on quality and product consistency. We pride ourselves on the performance of our products, and through ongoing investment in upgrades and new plant programmes, we continue to set new records for output efficiency and product reliability.
They believe that responsiveness is the foundation of fruitful customer partnerships. The Business Unit Mobility ensures this through their resources of strategically placed global hubs: Borealis Belgium, Borealis Central Europe, Monza (Italy), two compounding facilities in Brazil, Itatiba and Triunfo and two in China, Shanghai and Guangzhou (end 2012). In addition, they are supported by the innovation centres all over the world.
About Borealis and Borouge
Borealis (borealisgroup.com) 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 centres and customer service centres 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 and gas 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 1,600 people, has customers in more than 50 countries and its headquarters are in Abu Dhabi in the UAE and Singapore.