InterviewSABIC to focus on polymer composites for autos

11 July 2012 22:47  [Source: ICIS news]

By Ivan Lerner

NEW YORK (ICIS)--SABIC’s Innovative Plastics business will focus on developing advanced polymer composites for automobiles, an executive said on Wednesday.

“Requirements about carbon dioxide emissions and fuel requirements like the Corporate Average Fuel Economy [CAFE] standards, are driving light-weighting in autos,” said Nitin Apte, general manager, strategic marketing and innovation, for SABIC’s Innovative Plastics business.

“Composites will replace a lot of metal on a car,” he added.

Advanced composites are best known for their use in aircraft applications, but Apte noted that “the build of airplanes is not as high as laptop computers or automobiles. A lot of composites today are meant for low-volume applications, so there are a lot of epoxy-based composites”.

However, SABIC will focus on “developments in the area of thermoplastics composites,” Apte said.

“Customers are looking for high-speed manufacturing processes for electronics and automotive applications – and that’s the area we will be focusing on.”

The company is also exploring the production of casings for alternate fuelling systems in the automotive sector, said Apte.

But the company will not focus solely on the electric car, he added.

“We also look at hybrids. Hybrids will be more popular before the electric car” due to the lack of electrical-powering infrastructure, and range anxiety, in which drivers worry that their electric car will run out of power, he said.

By: Ivan Lerner
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