26 April 2011 22:41 [Source: ICIS news]
By lowering weight, automobile-makes can improve the fuel efficiency of their vehicles.
Among the plastics most emphasised to US automakers were PP and PC.
Long-fibre-filled PP was given as an alternative for under-the-hood applications currently satisfied by metals or nylon 6 and nylon 6,6 resins.
PP producers emphasised that their product is cheaper and can be made to have as much as 24% more tensile strength than polyamide 6 or polyamide 6,6 resins.
Plastics producers also emphasized PC for new applications, such as in bumpers and steering wheels.
According to a PC producer, the material can save automakers 0.25 kg/automobile (0.55 lb/automobile) if it is used to replace the typical magnesium found in those components.
The need to create lighter vehicles is mostly fuelled by rising fuel efficiency standards in Europe and North America. Plastics producers cited that for every 10% saved in vehicle weight, 3-6% could be saved in fuel consumption.
($1 = €0.69)
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