A long-glass fiber-reinforced polypropylene (PP) compound from Borealis is a core component of an all-plastic tailgate tagged to the new Volkswagen Multivan. Molded of Fibremod PP compound, the tailgate is said to be the largest ever all-thermoplastic tailgate.
The revolutionary tailgate of the new VW Multivan demonstrates how customer-centric innovation and collaboration can produce high-performance parts that lower the overall carbon footprint of vehicles, said Borealis. The Fibremod portfolio of lighter-weight polypropylene (PP) compounds is giving Tier I suppliers and OEMs the freedom to design and manufacture more sustainable and lightweight solutions for leading automotive brands and their increasingly electric fleets, the company added.
PP fiber-reinforced compounds have a proven track record when it comes to lightweighting for interior, exterior, and under-the-bonnet automotive parts. The proprietary Fibremod long-glass-fiber-reinforced PP (PP-LGF) technology offers fiber impregnation, flexibility in the use of various PP matrices, and the production of grades in customized colors. Fibremod compounds are described as cost-effective alternatives to conventional metals and engineering plastics–based solutions, as they are highly suitable for injection molding processes. Moreover, Fibremod LGF compounds boast flowability for smooth processing and low warpage.
Fibremod GB416LF was specifically tailored for use in tailgate carriers and visible structural parts. As a high-flow, 40%-fiber-reinforced material, it fulfils stringent emission and mechanical performance requirements. Using Fibremod GB416LF also can eliminate the need for additional surface finishing steps such as painting.
The new Volkswagen Multivan is a model with many firsts:
- The first VW bus based on the brand’s MQB modular design construction platform;
- the first completely redesigned VW Transporter in nearly 20 years;
- the first Transporter variant available as a plug-in hybrid (in Europe);
- the largest-ever visible interior tailgate structure made using PP-LGF.
The tailgate consists of several components. The outer frame and inner part made of Borealis Fibremod GB416LF are glued together to meet design and load requirements. Painted exterior parts are glued to the tailgate structure, as well. As a loadbearing part, the tailgate must be extremely robust to withstand static and dynamic loads. Part of the tailgate also lies in the vehicle’s interior, meaning it must comply with emission, fogging, and odor requirements. Finally, to achieve overall weight reduction for the new Multivan — it weighs around 200 kg less than its immediate predecessor — the tailgate itself must also be lighter. Using Fibremod GB416LF enabled Magna to meet these challenges head on.