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New PP grade offers primerless painting solution for BMW i8 front bumper

Resin suppliers Borealis and Borouge have teamed up with BMW to develop a polypropylene (PP) compound that facilitates primerless paint systems for exterior plastic applications, in the first instance the front bumper of the BMW i8 electric sports car. The new grade, Daplen EE112AE, joins another innovative material solution, Fibremod GB215HP, in the i8, this time being used in its instrument panel carrier.

Resin suppliers Borealis and Borouge have teamed up with BMW to develop a polypropylene (PP) compound that facilitates primerless paint systems for exterior plastic applications, in the first instance the front bumper of the BMW i8 electric sports car. The new grade, Daplen EE112AE, joins another innovative material solution, Fibremod GB215HP, in the i8, this time being used in its instrument panel carrier.

New PP grade allows paint to be applied without primer in BMW i8's front bumper.
A 20% long glass fiber reinforced PP grade, Fibremod GB215HP reportedly provides excellent strength, high stiffness and outstanding energy absorption in high speed deformation, thus ideally fulfilling today's stringent crash and impact requirements. Although not a new grade, Fibremod GB215HP helps support BMW's own integral foaming injection molding process, resulting in low warpage and excellent dimensional stability.

"We are pleased to be able to use VDI Mannheim as a stage to highlight our leading-edge innovations and communicate our global expansion efforts," says Harald Hammer, Borealis Vice President Engineering Applications. "New grades and material solutions developed in cooperation with our partners in the automotive industry are helping reduce vehicle weight, making enhanced efficiency and sustainability all the more feasible. Our expansion in Itatiba [Brazil] enables us to intensify the development of pioneering, value-added applications in collaboration with customers and partners in South America."

The start-up of expanded production facilities in Itatiba, near Sao Paulo, Brazil, at the end of 2014 means that Borealis has now passed another milestone on the way to continued expansion of global supply capabilities. As of the end of last year, the mechanical completion of the Itatiba expansion had been completed, allowing for the testing of grades and start-up of production.

With a total investment of around EUR45 million, the ongoing Itatiba expansion project is a vital component of Borealis' long-term growth strategy. It has involved the construction of an additional production building, and installation of two PP compounding extruders, blending and raw material silos, warehouse facilities and a bagging line. Extensive upgrading of utility and water systems has also been carried out. This site produces the PP compounds for the South American operations of leading automotive manufacturers and OEMs, as well as for the appliance industry.

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