Retooling automotive design for electric vehicles and greater sustainability becomes key.
Borealis and Borouge, leading providers of innovative, value-creating plastics solutions, announce the launch of several new polypropylene (PP) compounds in the Daplen™ family of PP thermoplastic olefin (TPO) compounds, and the Fibremod™ range of PP fibre reinforced compounds. These innovative additions to Borealis’ range of lightweighting solutions for interior, exterior, and under-the-bonnet (UTB) automotive parts offer even more lightweighting potential. The companies aim to use the new compounds to improve lightweight in cars, particularly electric vehicles, which will become more viable with lighter component materials.
Lightweight design, including the use of robust yet lightweight materials, has become an industry imperative. Lightweight helps reduce vehicular CO2 emissions and thus plays a crucial role in enabling manufacturers to adhere to regulatory standards. Yet some experts predict that alternative powertrains, like those for electric vehicles, will gain significant market share by 2030. At the same time, an exciting new gamut of design possibilities can be realized with electric and autonomous vehicles.
For example, components in battery electric and fuel cell electric vehicles can be fundamentally redesigned for low-density PP compounds due to lower operating temperatures versus ICE powertrains. Components such as tailgates and front end modules can be executed in monomaterial PP solutions that are not only lighter weight, but are more easily recycled. And where metal and higher-cost engineering plastics were once the material of choice for structural elements, PP-based compounds can now be considered for such applications.
“As we explore the new frontier of electric vehicles, together with leading OEM manufacturers and their Tier 1 partners, we are committed to developing value-creating polyolefins that enable our customers to think about the material science of cars in a different way. We can see the potential for fundamentally rethinking automotive design, thanks to the wealth of PP-based solutions available today, and on the immediate horizon.” Nicholas Kolesch, Head of Automotive Marketing Borealis