Thermoplastics in Expanded Automotive Applications
From all angles, new thermoplastic solutions redefine ‘performance’.
Take a look at the cover story of PT’s upcoming June issue in which this editor took a stab at summarizing recent innovations in thermoplastics for automotive. A daunting task, since there are so many potential applications for thermoplastics, whether in a car’s interior, under its hood, and a good deal of what’s visible on the exterior. Not to mention innumerable plastic components that don’t you don’t see in the powertrain, chassis, and elsewhere.
We asked materials suppliers that have been among the leaders in the development of automotive applications to weigh in on what they see as the areas of an automobile experiencing the most dramatic developments in thermoplastic materials offerings.
Lightweighting for fuel efficiency has been a dominant theme, however, there are many other performance requirements that drive materials developments, such as resistance to heat, wear, sunlight, and fuels and chemicals. In other cases, the goal is improved processability to enhance quality and reduce manufacturing costs.
Not all that was discussed could be included due to space limitations, and I thought it worthwhile to describe some key highlights that were left out. Here they are by category as identified by the contributing suppliers:
Interior & Ambient Lighting