Polybutylene terephthalate (PBT)-based Xenoy iQ resin from SABIC Innovative Plastics (Bergen Op Zoom, The Netherlands) has been selected by Ford for the pedestrian safety system of its 2011 C-MAX multipurpose vehicle (MPV). In doing so the automaker has earned a five-star rating from the independent safety organization Euro NCAP (European New Car Assessment Program).
|PBT with high recycle content promotes pedestrian safety.|
The resin is also said to be a great fit with Ford's commitment to sustainability as it offers thermoplastic properties with an extremely low carbon footprint. Upcycled from up to 60% post-consumer plastic waste, it relieves the burden on landfills and also reduces the amount of hydrocarbon-based fuels needed in the production process. The Xenoy iQ resin manufacturing process consumes 55-75% less fossil fuel than other engineering thermoplastics in the marketplace today and reduces CO2 emissions by a comparable amount.
"Pedestrian protection is receiving more attention than ever before from OEMs, the larger automotive industry and society at large. As a result, we are seeing a move globally to new and more demanding standards. We recognized this trend early on and are in a position to help OEMs with the energy absorption technologies needed to help them meet or get ahead of any new requirements," says V. Umamaheswaran (UV), director of products and marketing, Automotive, Innovative Plastics.
The Ford C-MAX lower leg protector/undertray design provides balanced energy management for the vehicle's front end and resilience for controlled kinematics of the lower leg during pedestrian impact with the bumper. Tier I Faurecia (Nanterre, France) worked with Ford to design and optimize the pedestrian protection system. "Xenoy iQ resin enhanced the design and performance of this system by delivering excellent energy absorption properties," says Jordi Martinez Andreu, engineering manager, Faurecia Automotive Exteriors. "Thanks to Xenoy iQ resin, it was possible to fulfill the various requirements and, at the same time, deliver a lightweight, high strength solution with eco-friendly characteristics."
This combination of high strength, lightweight and excellent elongation is reportedly not possible with more brittle, glass fiber- or talc-filled materials. Another benefit of using Xenoy iQ resin is its resistance to chipping from road debris. Finally, the resin's ease of processing, high flow and low warpage enabled the team to create a large, complex, injection-molded part that incorporates strategically-positioned channels to enable proper air intake to the intercooler.-[email protected]