On Jan. 14 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Mich., SABIC Innovative Plastics (formerly GE Plastics, Pittsfield, Mass.) announced that its materials are helping Ford Motor Co.'s Lincoln brand provide more eco-responsible style and luxury. The new Lincoln MKT luxury concept vehicle, making its premiere at the show, features several SABIC materials, including smart, sustainable resins based on up-cycled plastic waste; lightweight glazing that reduces fuel consumption and emissions; and high-performance resins for ultra-thin wire coating that cut vehicle weight and provide flame retardance without the risks associated with halogenated additives.
By teaming up with SABIC Innovative Plastics, Lincoln was able to lighten the weight of the MKT by 104 lb (47 kg) without compromising its style and safety. SABIC notes that weight savings of 104 lb (47 kg) per vehicle on a fleet of 125,000 similar vehicles would result in savings of around 15 million U.S. gallons (56 million liters) of gasoline. This overall weight savings could represent important fuel reduction costs for these drivers at close to an estimated $44 million. The amount of gasoline involved would be the same amount as filling over 1,500 large tanker trucks which, lined up end to end, would stretch close to 17 miles (27.5 kilometers). At the same time CO2 emissions could then be reduced by about 128 thousand metric tons, or the amount absorbed by approximately 35,000 acres of Southeastern U.S. forest, according to Green Order, a New York environmental strategy firm.
SABIC’s smart iQ resins, made from up-cycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles, replace metal in a number of new part applications in the MKT. Xenoy iQ resin is targeted for front and rear bumper energy absorbers, the center console, and liftgate inner structure; while Valox iQ resin is targeted for the engine cover, connectors, power distribution boards, and the composite hood. More than 2,000 bottles go into the MKT; this number equals the number of bottles used by a person who drinks one per day for for more than 5.5 years.
In the roof, windshield, and rear lift gate of the Lincoln concept, deluxe glazing components â€“Lexan GLX polycarbonate resins with Exatec coating, bonded with a CarboTech carbon composite structure â€“ reduce weight by 28.4 lb (12.9 kg) vs. glass. Equally important, this solution made it possible to design the lift gate glazing with its integrated aerodynamics, which would not have been feasible using glass.
Noryl, an inherently flame-retardant, non-halogenated modified polyphenylene oxide (PPO) from SABIC, helps reduce weight by 2.5 lb (1.1 kg) by enabling ultra-thin wire coating. Further, these thinner coatings free up space for additional consumer electronics.