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Issue 01/2016

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Automotive Foam Basics: Public Procurement

Automotive Drop-in

Automotive Drop-in solution for your existing equipment and processes Injection molding of tensile bars and then larger parts (Photo 1) proved the mechanical performance and easy processability of reSound NF formulation. Like most natural fiber reinforced thermoplastics, reSound NF material should be processed at temperatures below 200 °C in order to maintain the integrity of the naturally-originating fibers. Using low temperatures also offers potential energy savings and short cooling times, providing an efficient yield for manufacturers. Further testing revealed that reSound NF material is compatible with and shows robust property retention when molded on machinery outfitted with the MuCell ® foaming technology from Trexel. The retention is as robust as PP‐SGF for tensile properties, is even more robust for flexural properties, and clearly more stable for impact properties. The reSound NF solutions also are compatible with chemical foaming technologies, and exhibit strong bonding with selected thermoplastic elastomers, also found in PolyOne’s solutions portfolio. Separate trials also proved that customers could select a reSound NF concentrate, rather than a fully compounded formulation with a predetermined percentage of fiber loading, if they wanted to adjust final reinforcement levels vs. application needs. Finally, tests also were conducted to determine the recyclability of reSound NF material. Tensile bars were molded, reground, and molded again with the regrind material only. This was repeated three times. These results show a very stable performance towards regrinding for reSound NF versus PP-SGF. It seems the limitation in the on-line re-introduction of reground PP-SGF into the manufacturing process does not apply to reSound NF material, which offers a potential “no scrap” process for manufacturers. Time for a change Advanced material and manufacturing technologies have been combined to create reSound NF, a NFR-TP solution with a low specific gravity but offering excellent mechanical properties. Manufacturers can select reSound NF natural fiber reinforced solutions to reduce parts’ weights 5 – 10 % lower than ones made using comparable glass fiber formulations. Compared to other natural fiber reinforced solutions, reSound NF solutions offer mechanical property improvements of more than 20 % for tensile and flexural properties, 10 °C to 20 °C higher heat deflection temperature, and more than 50 % in impact strength. Customers can process reSound NF material on existing machinery and tooling at low injection molding temperatures, resulting in short cycle times. These new natural fiber reinforced polymer formulations enable automotive OEMs and their suppliers to meet goals for lightweighting, sustainability, production efficiency and performance. Customers from non-automotive industries that value lightweighting and sustainable solutions in technical applications can benefit from reSound NF formulations too. Carbon/Flax hybrid automotive roof The CARBIO project has developed a carbon/flax hybrid automotive roof using Composite Evolution’s Biotex Flax material. The project, which involves Jaguar Land Rover, is developing novel carbon/flax hybrid composites to produce automotive structures with reduced weight, cost, environmental impact and improved noise, vibration and harshness (NVH). The adoption of carbon fibre-epoxy composites to reduce vehicle weight is presenting significant challenges to the volume automotive industry. Compared to carbon, flax fibres are renewable, lower in cost, CO 2 neutral and have excellent vibration damping properties. In addition, bio-epoxy resins based on cashew nut shell liquid (CNSL) can offer enhanced toughness, damping and sustainability over synthetic epoxies. By creating a hybrid structure using flax-bioepoxy to replace some of the carbon, enhanced properties such as lower weight, cost, NVH and environmental impact can be gained. A 50/50 carbon/flax hybrid biocomposite, made from Biotex Flax supplied by Composites Evolution and prepregged by SHD Composite Materials, has significantly contributed to achieving the objectives of the project. With equal bending stiffness to carbon fibre, the hybrid biocomposite has: • 15 % lower cost • 7 % lower weight • 58 % higher vibration damping The prototype roof, designed by Delta Motorsport and manufactured by KS Composites, was displayed at the Advanced Engineering show, last November in Birmingham, UK. The CARBIO project is part-funded by Innovate UK. The partners are Composites Evolution, SHD Composite Materials, KS Composites, Delta Motorsport, Jaguar Land Rover and Cranfield University. MT 14 bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/16] Vol. 11

Automotive Smart bioplastics for automotive applications By: Francesca Brunori Advanced Development Engine Systems Röchling Automotive Laives, Italy Röchling Automotive reports promising results on the development of automotive parts made of Plantura PLA based biopolymers. In collaboration with Plantura Italia Srl (Italy) and Corbion Purac (The Netherlands), Röchling Automotive is working towards greener products offering similar or enhanced technical functionality. Plantura has a CO 2 equivalent emission of approximately 0.5 tonnes for each ton of produced raw material. This is around 70 % lower than PP, and close to 90 % less than PA6. There are currently four standard grades available that are suitable for low to medium demanding automotive underthe-hood applications and – using the glass fiber filled grade – in underbody applications. The talc filled standard grade, as well as natural fiber filled grades, are suitable for automotive interior applications. As these different standard grades, which boast a biocontent of up to 95 %, can be finetuned to meet specific customer needs and final application requirements, the material has already been used in series production in sectors other than the automotive market. The compounds can be processed and recycled with conventional plastics processing and recycling technologies. In comparison to standard PLA, Plantura showed significant improvements in thermal stability and chemical resistance. Long term thermal stability was tested according to thermal cycle tests performed from -40 °C to 140 °C according to an OEM’s specification. When tested at temperatures as low as -30 °C, the material demonstrated an outstanding impact resistance for shockproof parts, showing that Plantura 30 % GF can offer values of up to 50 % higher Charpy impact strength compared to a PA6 GF+M30. The materials also exhibit excellent hydrolysis resistance. Prototype filter boxes (cf. fig. 1) as well as interior parts were tested according to the OEM’s complete specifications, with very promising results The use of Plantura for the air flaps (fig. 3) of an Active Grille Shutter (fig. 2) was investigated and the initial results bode well for the future. The injection molded Plantura component has a higher stiffness compared to the component produced with the standard material (PA6 GF30). Because of this, deflection is lower during use, which can be used to reduce air leakage. Moreover, thanks to the lower shrinkage of the material, it is also possible to reduce the deformation of the final component. Another big advantage to using Plantura for this application is that the dimensional stability will increase over the lifetime of the component, due to the fact that no humidity is absorbed. The scratch resistance behavior of PLA, an extremely important aspect when it comes to aesthetic components in general, and in this case for aesthetic Active Grille Shutters In particular, is well known and taken into consideration in the Plantura formulations. The continuous development of the material has led to higher, and increasingly interesting cost efficiency. With its significant contribution to an improved CO 2 balance, Plantura could become an important concept in the automotive world. Fig. 1: Filter box made of Plantura 30 % Wood Fibers Fig. 2: Assembled Active Grille Shutter Fig. 3: Air flaps of Active Grille Shutter made of Plantura 30 % Glass Fiber reinforced bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/16] Vol. 11 15

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