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Issue 01/2017

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Automotive Materials New

Automotive Materials New ABS reinforced with natural fibres ELIX ABS-NF, an innovative material development from ELIX Polymers, is a wood-fibre reinforced ABS that was created as part of the company’s strategy to move towards a more sustainable product portfolio. Elix Polymers is a leading manufacturer of ABS (Acrylonitrile-Butadiene- Styrene) resins and derivatives in Europe, headquartered in Tarragona, Spain Suitable for injection moulding applications, Elix ABS-NF offers excellent flowability, making fast and efficient mould filling possible. Even very thin walls can be produced easily. Moreover, fibre degradation levels are very low, despite shear heating. The selected wood fibre is a certified 100 % biobased product, non-seasonal and a by-product from an industrial process with consistent quality performance from batch-tobatch. Because the new material is based on ABS, it has generated a great deal of interest, especially from the automotive industry as, until now, polypropylene (PP) has been the most commonly used resin reinforced with natural fibres. The target applications for Elix ABS-NF are visible interior parts and semi-structural interior parts. For visible parts, the wood-like appearance offers interesting options, while when coloured, the material opens up new design possibilities with different surface textures. Possible applications are door trim panels and audio speaker covers. OEMs are looking at surface finishes of this kind especially for new electric cars; Elix Polymers is already working closely with the design departments of several automotive OEMs. For semi-structural parts, such as the center console carrier, ABS-NF can replace the glass-reinforced ABS that is currently used by some OEMs for these applications. ABS-NF’s improved stiffness means that the mechanical properties of the two materials are very similar. However, Elix’s ABS-NF boasts a density of only 1.12 g/cm³ , compared to 1.15 for conventional glass-fibre reinforced ABS, which translates to a 3 % weight reduction when opting for the new material. ABS-NF is more easily recycled than ABS-GF, yet retains its properties better than glass-filled ABS after several processing cycles, thanks to the lower fibre size reduction. Compared to other polymers reinforced with natural fibres Elix ABS-NF has a high heat stability Vicat B50 with over 100 °C and a much better surface quality. Furthermore, the emissions are very low according to test results VDA 278 VOC = 2 / FOG = 45 μg/g (ppm), which meets the stringent OEM requirements. Having successfully caught the interest of the main automotive OEM’s with the new ABS-NF, Elix says that already,several tests are now running at interior Tier1 suppliers and institutes for bioplastics. Driven by consumer demand for more sustainable products and the desire to reduce dependency on fossil resources, many other sectors have also expressed interest in this product, including the furniture industry, consumer goods, toys and the white goods industry. Elix Polymers was awarded the Frost&Sullivan new product innovation award for Automotive natural fibre composites for the development of this innovative product. The development of Elix ABS-NF was facilitated by the European Economic Area (EEA) and Norway Grants which is the first time in the industry where a company was supported by a European Grant towards developing sustainable ABS materials and composites. Through this, Elix Polymers has not only positioned itself as a leading supplier of eco-friendly ABS materials, but has also extended its commitment to develop an environmentally sustainable product portfolio. Elix Polymers holds a superior position in sustainability by ensuring an 8.8 % reduction in energy intensity and 2.56 % reduction in carbon footprint in manufacturing processes, both from 2014 to 2015. MT 16 bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/17] Vol. 12

Automotive bio CAR organized by bioplastics MAGAZINE CALL FOR PAPERS NOW OPEN biobased materials for automotive applications conference September 2017 Stuttgart » The amount of plastics in modern cars is constantly increasing. » Plastics and composites help achieving light-weighting targets. » Plastics offer enormous design opportunities. » Plastics are important for the touch-and-feel and the safety of cars. ANZEIGE BUT: consumers, suppliers in the automotive industry and OEMs are more and more looking for biobased alternatives to petroleum based materials. That‘s why bioplastics MAGAZINE is organizing this new conference on biobased materials for the automotive industry. co-orgnized by in cooperation with supported by Media Partner

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