Borealis highlights polypropylene technology for flexible automotive design
Appears in Print as: 'Composite-reinforced polypropylene ensures light, integrated, high-performing solutions'
Fibremod, the customized carbon and glass fiber-reinforced polypropylene material ensures reduced weight, cost savings and design flexibility.
Center console automotive application using Fibremod. Photo Credit: Borealis
Borealis (Vienna, Austria), a supplier of polyolefin plastic materials for engineering applications in the automotive industry highlights the availability of Fibremod, its innovative carbon- and glass fiber-reinforced polypropylene (PP) technology, for the North American automotive market. The Fibremod family of customized products enables automotive manufacturers to achieve lighter weight and save on cost, says Borealis. Further, the company notes that replacing engineering plastics and metal parts with energy-efficient and lighter weight PP grades leads to improved fuel economy and lower CO2 emissions.
According to Borealis, products in the Fibremod family are a suitable material substitute for metal and engineered plastics, delivering unmatched design flexibility. Short-glass, long-glass and carbon fiber formulations are available, with customizable fiber content ratios, to enable manufacturers to balance strength, weight and cost according to specific design needs across applications ranging from front end and tailgate modules to instrument panel and center console carriers.
Fibremod products products also support energy efficiency in production by reducing process temperatures and energy requirements compared with alternative solutions such as polyamide (PA).
Yes, advanced forms are in development, but has the technology progressed enough to make the business case?
Compared to legacy materials like steel, aluminum, iron and titanium, composites are still coming of age, and only just now are being better understood by design and manufacturing engineers. However, composites’ physical properties — combined with unbeatable light weight — make them undeniably attractive.
Participants at CW’s Carbon Fiber 2012 Conference see one coming as early as 2016.