Celanese, International Paper collaborate with Ford to apply cellulose fiber-reinforced PP composite

In a reorted industry first, Celanese Corporation and International Paper have worked together in the application of a composite combining cellulose fiber from trees with long-glass fiber in a polypropylene (PP) matrix resulted in significant cost savings achieved by reducing weight up to 25 percent per part. The composite was used in the center console carrier of Ford’s 2018 Lincoln Continental luxury sedan.

Award-winning center console carrier employs PP composite reinforced with cellulose and glass fibers.

Implementing this solution achieved cycle time reductions of approximately 20–40 percent and significant energy savings resulting in an estimated 14 million kilograms of carbon dioxide reductions. Accounting for the largest single automotive part to date injected molded with sustainable plant-based composite materials, the center console carrier in the 2018 Lincoln Continental demonstrates that this natural and thermoplastic fiber blend can meet dimensional stability and component performance requirements while using existing tooling.

“This innovative solution from International Paper and Celanese will enable automakers to significantly reduce emissions through improvements in material production and light-weighting,” said Verghese Thomas, Celanese’s Chief Technology & Innovation Officer. “We’re excited to continue collaborating with Ford to meet their sustainability goals.”

“International Paper creates innovative, sustainable and recyclable products that help our customers achieve their objectives,” said Russell Anawalt, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Global Cellulose Fibers. “We are thrilled that the collaboration with Ford and Celanese has enabled Ford to make lighter-weight parts using International Paper’s Thrive composite to meet all of their specifications and requirements while receiving additional environmental benefits that are cost effective for both the molder and Ford.”

The Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) in Automotive recognized this joint development in sustainable thermoplastics by Celanese and International Paper with the Environmental Award for Sustainable Materials in Automotive.

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