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Translucent Plastics Deliver More Automotive Design Freedom

Translucent polypropylene compounds from LyondellBasell reportedly overcome challenges associated with these materials, ranging from premature yellowing and low rigidity to limited impact resistance.

Stephen Moore

May 8, 2023

1 Min Read
LyondellBasell VP Joanne Swiggett
LyondellBasell VP Joanne Swiggett speaking at Chinaplas 2023.Image courtesy of CommNow

Translucent plastics offer numerous new options for personalized light effects, according to resin supplier LyondellBasell. Automotive OEMs, especially in the electrical vehicle (EV) space, are looking for eye-catching light effects, which open up new options for automotive designers.

LyondellBasell, which exhibited at the recent Chinaplas 2023 event, offers a series of translucent polypropylene (PP) compounds under the brand names Hifax and Hostacom. LyondellBasell’s advanced compounding technology allows manufactures to overcome challenges that are often linked to translucent applications, ranging from premature yellowing and low rigidity to limited impact resistance.

“We are capturing the growth in Asia's emerging EV market. Translucent materials are a unique and important design element in vehicle interiors and exteriors,” said Joanne Swiggett, vice president of Advanced Polymer Solutions APAC and AFMEI at LyondellBasell. “Our Hifax and Hostacom translucent product series allows automakers to create outstanding optical effects with good light transmission and diffusion. These grades also offer good mechanical properties, as well as high durability, for use in both car interior and exterior applications.”

Low coefficient of thermal expansion PP compounds are also in the development pipeline, according to Swiggett. LyondellBasell is mindful of sustainability issues, she added. “We have 220 projects in our innovation pipeline focused on sustainability, representing 20% of overall projects and 30% of resin volume.” LyondellBasell targets two million tonnes of recycled or renewable-based polyolefins by 2030, which corresponds to approximately 20% of 2022 polyethylene and PP sales.

About the Author(s)

Stephen Moore

Stephen has been with PlasticsToday and its preceding publications Modern Plastics and Injection Molding since 1992, throughout this time based in the Asia Pacific region, including stints in Japan, Australia, and his current location Singapore. His current beat focuses on automotive. Stephen is an avid folding bicycle rider, often taking his bike on overseas business trips, and is a proud dachshund owner.

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