Borealis extends its Fibremod™ technology portfolio with high performance carbon fibre reinforced polypropylene compounds
New polypropylene carbon fibre reinforced solutions fulfil the automotive market's requirement for engineering materials enabling lightweight construction while delivering high performance and excellent economic efficiency
Fibremod Carbon as highly cost-effective alternative to other materials
Borealis, a leading provider of innovative solutions in the fields of polyolefins, base chemicals and fertilizers, announces the extension of its Fibremod™ technology portfolio with carbon fibre reinforced polypropylene grades. Borealis' leading-edge Fibremod technology portfolio has a proven track record in realising weight reduction in many automotive applications and is now expanded with Fibremod™ Carbon, a carbon fibre reinforced polypropylene. This innovative portfolio extension will help the automotive industry to reap the benefits of carbon fibre reinforced plastics, such as outstanding density to weight ratio, significant weight reduction potential, and increased functionalisation and modularisation of components. The excellent economic efficiency of the Fibremod Carbon portfolio will also promote the more widespread use of this potentially revolutionary material in the mass production of automobiles.
Fibremod Carbon: light weight, stiffness, strength and competitiveness combined in one material
Driven by the aim to reduce fuel consumption and overall operating cost, the aircraft industry has been a pioneer in lightweight construction using Carbon Fibre Reinforced Plastics (CFRP). CFRP have also found an important niche in high-end sports cars and motorsport vehicles.
With ever increasing demands for improved fuel economy, these materials are also finding their way into everyday passenger cars. European Union regulations to reduce CO2 emissions for new cars to 95g/km on average by 2020 and the US Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standard, which aims to increase the mileage of new car models from 39 to 60 miles per gallon (17 to 26 kilometres per litre) by 2025, have created a new sense of urgency for lightweight construction.
OEMs and Tiers continue to allocate a high proportion of their R&D budgets to develop new ideas for lightweight construction in high volume car production. Borealis took up this challenge and underpins its position as supplier of choice for the automotive industry by offering a differentiated solution. The use of carbon fibre leads to a significant increase in stiffness compared to traditional glass fibre construction. Fibremod Carbon compounds provide stiffness not seen before in polypropylene, reaching up to 20,000 megapascal (MPa), combined with an extraordinarily low density. Specific stiffness is a way of comparing the density and stiffness of different materials to determine the most effective solution. It is the established method to evaluate benefits to optimise lightweight construction. In this comparison, Fibremod Carbon outperforms even lightweight metals like aluminium or magnesium, leading to a lightweighting potential of more than 60 percent compared to steel. In practice, this means that components can be developed with similar or even higher stiffness and lower weight. For structural parts, the geometry can be adapted to best utilise the gain in stiffness, resulting in further weight-saving potential.
Fibremod Carbon makes lightweight construction with carbon fibre affordable
The Borealis Fibremod Carbon technology portfolio is a highly cost-effective alternative to other engineering polymers, high performance polymers or even lightweight metals. The same weight reduction can be achieved with Fibremod Carbon as with leading materials such as magnesium or carbon fibre reinforced polyamide, with the additional benefits of no contact corrosion, no moisture absorption and suitability for economic injection moulding processes, while at the same time incurring only half of the costs compared to traditional materials. Compared to aluminium, the cost benefit is still significant; a comparison to PA6-GF30 shows neutral cost advantage, but a weight reduction potential of more than 30 percent.
Borealis Fibremod technology reduces development time and costs
Because carbon fibre reinforced PP grades are by nature complex, they require extensive engineering. For this reason, Borealis has developed computer-aided methods to predict fibre orientation and distribution, thus allowing for an integrative simulation of the final application performance. Borealis has also established state-of-the-art testing methods and standards for fibre reinforced PP and is fully committed to further enhancing its modelling and simulation methodologies. This means Borealis can provide comprehensive support to its customers in developing and implementing new lightweight solutions based on Fibremod Carbon; expensive prototyping and physical testing of the final application can be reduced to a minimum.
"Building on our proven track record of Value Creation through Innovation, we are going to offer a new generation of high performance lightweight materials through the extension of our cutting-edge Fibremod technology portfolio," says Nicholas Kolesch, Borealis Head of Marketing Automotive. "By utilising the Borealis Fibremod technology and building on the experience of hundreds of engineering projects in the last decade, Borealis is helping the automotive industry to further reduce weight, development cycles and costs."
Fibremod Carbon – a revolutionary grade portfolio
Three new grades will augment the already cutting-edge Fibremod portfolio:
- Fibremod™ CB201SY: a 20% carbon fibre reinforced engineering PP boasting a maximized performance strength-to-weight saving ratio
- Fibremod™ CB301SY: a 30% carbon fibre reinforced engineering PP offering up to 40% weight saving potential when compared to other lightweight materials currently in use
- Fibremod™ CB401SY: a 40% carbon fibre reinforced engineering PP providing ultra-high stiffness, thus enabling lighter weight, high performance plastics applications
These new grades are especially suited for applications such as chain adjusters, pump housings, headlamp housings, oil pans, seat frames, arm rests, gear shifting gates and sunroof frames. Also being explored are applications in structural parts in interiors, under-the-bonnet applications, and motorcycle parts.
Visit our microsite to learn more about how Borealis and Borouge are Driving Tomorrow: www.borealisdrivingtomorrow.com.
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