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Issue 01/2017

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Automotive Materials

Automotive Materials Biobased materials – The future In December 2009, aiming to develop its expertise into a sustainable competitive advantage and thus to contribute to the profitability of the company and enhance customer satisfaction, Renault established a cross-functional field dedicated to expertise. One of the strategic areas of expertise identified was “Polymers, Characterization & Processes of Transformation”, led by Dr. Liraut. Renault’s Polymer materials strategy is focused on providing sustainable mobility for all. As illustrated in Fig. 1, this strategy is built on 4 axes: • increase customer value • improve durability • reduce costs • reduce environmental footprint Biobased materials are one pillar to support this strategy. Customer Value • Decorations (metal, painting, grains) • Skin TPO, Slush, Leather • Thermal Comfort • Light atmosphere Durability • Anti scratch • Anti durst • UV protection Reduction of environmental footprint Since 2005, Renault has been committed to reducing the environmental impact of its vehicles throughout their lifecycle, from one generation to the next. In order to ensure and monitor compliance with this commitment, Renault has measured the environmental impact of its vehicles throughout their life-cycle, from the extraction of the raw materials needed for manufacturing to their end of life, since 2004. Life-cycle analyses (LCA) are carried out in compliance with international standards on LCA (ISO 14040 and 14044). Cost • Alliance Specifications • Panel of Materials • Local Integration Fig 1: strategy built on 4 axes Environmental Footprint • Weight reduction • Recycled materials • Biobased materials • Recycling in existing fields The results of the life-cycle assessments show that usephase vehicle emissions account for more than 80 % of the CO 2 and for most atmospheric pollutants emitted over the life cycle of an ICE vehicle. By curbing emissions during the use phase, therefore, Renault can significantly reduce the environmental footprint of its vehicles. Improving vehicle fuel efficiency is a crucial part of this. A potent lever for better fuel economy is weight reduction. For example, calculations have shown that reducing vehicle weight by 10kg cuts CO 2 emissions by 1g/km. Use of PE+natural fibers New Megane’s dashboard insert in NAFilean - APM by the end of 2016 1.270 kg saving with an additional cost of € 2.50 per saved kg The choice of materials impacts directly on vehicle weight. To reduce weight, all families of materials must be taken into account: steels with high elasticity; light alloys, such as aluminum; composites; and plastics. Renault has taken steps to address this concern, starting in 2016 with the use of PE filled with natural fibers (PE-NF) instead of talc or glass fibers, in semi-structural parts requiring a high rigidity, low impact resistance and a good thermal resistance. The use of PE-NF yields a weight saving of between 6 % and 20 %, thanks to a reduction of the thicknesses of the parts. In the new Megane, the use of Nafilean , a natural fiber composite produced by APM - Automotive Performance Materials (PE-Hemp 20 %), for a dashboard insert has enabled a weight reduction of 1.27 kg at an additional cost of 2.5 € per saved kg. Studies of other natural fibers, such as Miscanthus or Woodforce, are still in progress. The use of these specific biobased materials is also considered in the light of the end of life perspective. Their recycling process is taken into account. 14 bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/17] Vol. 12

Automotive for the automotive industry? Improvement of durability As an example of a biobased material application to improve durability, Renault has adopted PA 6.10 and 10.10 for several under-the-hood parts, such as for the pipes of fuel supply system or brake system. These Bio-PA grades offer a good balance between technical and economic benefits, as well as very good chemical resistance, particularly in a fuel environment. Use of PA11, then PA 6.10 or PA 10.10 • Technical and economic interest • Very good chemical resistance Under-the-hood parts Fuel pipe of fuel supply system or brake system Reduction of cost A good example to illustrate how using a biobased material can also lead to cost savings is Renault’s use of Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation’s DURABIO . Durabio is a biobased engineering plastic made from plant-derived isosorbide. It combines an excellent performance - offering a better compromise between resistance to impact, heat, and light ageing than conventional engineering plastics - with additional benefits, including high reflective surfaces, hardness, enhanced durability and scratch resistance. Renault has adopted MCC’s Durabio biobased engineering plastic for the outer mask of the speedometer-tachometer combo in the new generation of its Clio cars. It was introduced on June 6, 2016. Using Durabio means that no coating process is required, which represents a cost saving of 0.40 € per part. This marks the first use of Durabio by a European automaker (MCC’s press release, August 2 nd , 2016) Increase of customer value Renault is striving to enhance the perceived quality of its new vehicles, was another factor driving the carmaker’s research into the use of biobased material. Renault is currently looking closely at biobased materials that could provide a aesthetics effect and / or an innovative touch and feel. For Renault, the use of biobased materials is closely linked to its polymers strategy. In this context, the company is not interested in drop-In biobased solutions to replace conventional plastics. New materials must provide additional benefits according to the main axes of the polymers strategy: durability, customer value, cost, and environment. The materials engineering department and biomaterials specialist need to follow up new innovative development of biobased material. To that end, the materials engineering department at Renault joined the Industry and Agro-resource (IAR) Cluster in November 2016, which promotes exchanges and project launches. The IAR Cluster enables the development and testing of new technologies and products, based on a renewable approach. It therefore fosters the emergence of new markets and boosts companies’ competitiveness in the area of agro-resources. Under investigation • Specific aspect and touch feeling • Acoustic / thermal comfort Natural fibres, wood painting relatd products of other industries Use of DURABIO - Mitsubishi Chemical instead of ABS or ABS-PC + painting • Avoid the need of painting for durability • Very good micro scratch & impact resistance New Clio’s outer-mask Cost savings: 0.40 € per part Better high gloss surface Ecological design visible by customer By: Alexia Delsalle-Roma Biomaterials Specialist - Materials Innovation Leader Renault Group Guyancourt, France bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/17] Vol. 12 15

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