Borealis goes short and long with glass-fiber PP compound series; starts production in Italy

Borealis (Vienna, Austria) and group sales and marketing company Borouge (Singapore) have launched a series of engineered short- (SGF) and long glass-fiber (LGF) polypropylene (PP) that consolidates its Xmod and Nepol glass-fiber brands under one common name: Fibremod. Connected to the launch of Fibremod, Borealis has announces the start up of a new long-glass-fiber line in Monza, Italy.

This portfolio evolution has been carried out in order to "streamline the product brand portfolio and to build the stage for the innovation pipeline of all future, fiber-based materials." The Fibremod brand represents both the material category and the ability of Borealis and Borouge to transform or modify a specific grade to fit and exceed the needs and requirements of its customers. Fibremod will be the future product brand for all fiber-based PP compound solutions for automotive applications as well as for white goods and small appliances.

Fibremod innovations are supporting the automotive and appliance value chains in achieving their targets on reducing weight, saving process costs and considering the environment.

Fibremod innovations are reportedly supporting the automotive and appliance value chain in achieving its weight-saving and process cost-saving targets. "The customized glass fiber-reinforced PP solutions are at the cutting-edge of innovation, bringing lightweight, extra strength and customized performance to a wide range of applications" says the two companies. "They also support more environmentally considerate production by reducing processing temperatures and energy requirements when replacing alternative solutions such as polyamide (PA)."

Borealis' proprietary Borstar process technology reportedly enables Borealis and Borouge to tailor the highly engineered PP compounds to required stiffness aspects in order to meet the stringent needs of individual customer projects. For example, a unique, high-performance glass-fiber Fibremod solution was behind Volkswagen's decision to become the first automaker to switch from glass-reinforced polyamide (PA) to SGF PP from Borealis for its air intake manifolds (1.4-L/63-kW and 1.6-L/77-kW engines). The use of Fibremod reportedly realized a 15% weight reduction, superior acoustic performance and greater production cost efficiency for VW and its Tier One supplier. Today, Fibremod compound solutions are used in an increasing variety of end uses, such as for instrument panel carriers, front-end modules, and underhood and appliance applications.


Italian job
PP-LGF is a group of long-glass-fiber-reinforced products which are produced in the new Monza plant by pultrusion to achieve increased fiber length in both pellets and final parts. The glass fibers are typically arranged parallel in the pellets, having all the same length as the pellet itself. The Monza production facility operates as a specialties plant for Borealis, where smaller lines allow for more flexibility.

The product portfolio covers glass-fiber contents from 20% to 60%, with grades customized to provide for the highest stiffness and strength at elevated temperatures, with outstanding energy absorption in high speed deformation. Typically PP-LGF grades have excellent flowability for smooth processing and uniform shrinkage behavior.

"With the unveiling of Fibremod, Borealis and Borouge have created a strong product brand portfolio partner for our Daplen range of mineral-based material innovations for the automotive industry," comments Jost Eric Laumeyer, Global Marketing Manager Engineering Applications, Borealis. "With the launch of Fibremod, we are also happy to announce the start-up of our LGF line in Monza, Italy," says Harald Hammer, Vice President Engineering Applications. "This start-up will deliver a significant number of kilotonnes per year further underscoring our aim to deliver product and technology innovations for the automotive and the appliance industry."

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