Sponsored By

Materials from Sabic helped Chrysler Group, Ford, Nissan and Volkswagen secure honors at the 43rd-annual Society of Plastics Engineers' (SPE's) Automotive Innovation Awards, the oldest and largest competition of its kind in the automotive and plastics industries.

PlasticsToday Staff

November 13, 2013

4 Min Read
Sabic materials used in applications honored at SPE’s Automotive Awards

Materials from Sabic helped Chrysler Group, Ford, Nissan and Volkswagen secure honors at the 43rd-annual Society of Plastics Engineers' (SPE's) Automotive Innovation Awards, the oldest and largest competition of its kind in the automotive and plastics industries. 

Since 2008, automotive applications with Sabic materials and support have produced 10 SPE Automotive Innovation Award winners, while an additional 16 applications have been named as finalists. This year's finalists with applications molded out of Sabic materials include Ford's fully retractable panoramic roof system on the 2014 MY Lincoln MKZ luxury sedan, Volkswagen' polycarbonate-glazed side windows on the 2013 MY XL1 diesel plug-in hybrid and Nissan's battery pack system on the 2013 MY LEAF electric vehicle.

image001_0.jpg"We are once again pleased to see our customers' applications singled out as top industry innovations," said Scott Fallon, general manager of automotive at Sabic's plastics business. "It is rewarding to play an enabling role and help our customers determine the optimum combination of design, process and material to bring these innovations to life. We are proud to be part of these awards and look forward to achieving more breakthroughs with our valued customers in the future."

Chrysler Group receives top spot in body interior

This is the second SPE-associated award for the 2014 MY Jeep Cherokee instrument panel (IP), the first coming at last month's Automotive Engineered Polyolefins Conference (TPO) in Detroit, organized by SPE's Detroit section.

Typical parts molded out of polyolefin resin are 2.5 to 4 mm, which means the parts are heavier and have longer molding cycles. Use of STAMAX 30YK270 resin from Sabic helped enable the thickness reduction to 2.0 mm, which saves weight and offers the potential to reduce cycle times by up to 30%.

The IP was specifically designed with STAMAX resin to reduce part thickness without sacrificing impact performance and strength, key attributes of the long glass fiber reinforced polypropylene material. Since less material is needed, the thin-wall part reportedly saves millions of pounds of plastic over the life of the program.

Sabic says its automotive specialists provided significant engineering assistance and technical support throughout the program, including advanced fiber-orientation modeling to reduce warpage during product development and mold design. The tier supplier was Intertec Systems. Windsor Mold Systems was the toolmaker.

Ford single-piece front bumper energy absorber (EA) design

Ford drove home with the top award in the Chassis/Hardware category for a single-piece front bumper energy absorber (EA) design with enough tuning flexibility to meet the competing requirements that exist in the global market.

Ford, working with Magna Exteriors and Interiors and SABIC, chose XENOY 1103 resin, a polycarbonate (PC) / polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) blend for this unique part on the 2014 MY Fusion and Mondeo vehicles. XENOY resin provides excellent energy absorption upon impact, with the necessary stiffness, and retains its structural integrity across a wide range of temperatures. Design flexibility is achieved by adjusting material thickness and geometric features in the injection-molded part as appropriate for varying regional market requirements.

In addition to fulfilling the critical role of impact energy absorption with superior structural strength, this energy absorber system reportedly reduces complexity in design, manufacturing and assembly.

The single-piece global design concept eliminates the need for different energy absorbing materials, bumper beams and bumper fascias in different geographies with different impact requirements. Made from Sabic's lightweight plastic material, the energy absorber is 40% lighter and 10% less costly than a comparable part made out of steel. The part is 20% lighter than thicker polypropylene-based energy absorbers. These weight savings contribute to better fuel economy.

Finalist applications from Ford, Nissan and Volkswagen

Sabic materials and support were also present in the following finalist applications:

  • 2014 MY Lincoln MKZ luxury sedan, fully retractable panoramic roof system, Body Exterior category: Ford used hard-coated LEXAN resin, a PC material, for the trim panels of this retractable roof, replacing acrylic to achieve improvements in both scratch/mar performance and dimensional stability.

  • 2013 MY Nissan LEAF electric vehicle, battery pack, Electrical Systems category: Nissan chose NORYL N1150 resin, a modified-polyphenylene ether (mPPE) material, for key components of its Lithium-Ion battery pack system. Use of NORYL resin allowed Nissan to cut part weight by up to 20%. The resin's high-temperature and long-term dimensional stability reportedly led to a significant improvement in part quality and enabled further stable battery production in Nissan's automotive assembly system.

  • 2013 MY Volkswagen XL1 diesel plug-in hybrid, side windows, Body Exterior category: The side windows, the only set of their kind in the industry today, are produced through a two-shot injection-molded solution using Sabic's EXATEC plasma coating technology on LEXAN resin and CYCOLOY resin, a PC/ABS (acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene) material. These solutions reduce the weight of the side windows by 33% vs. conventional glass solutions, while delivering a high quality optical appearance and scratch-resistant surface, aerodynamic features that help improve fuel economy, improved thermal insulation and reduced fogging. Sabic provided full application development support to Volkswagen in the design, engineering and production of the side windows.

Sign up for the PlasticsToday NewsFeed newsletter.

You May Also Like