The recently launched Fibremod™ Carbon Fibre Polypropylene (CFPP) product, Fibremod™ CB061SY, was used to make the A-pillar bracket of the Ford Explorer. As an award finalist at the 2017 SPE Automotive Innovation Awards in Detroit, the industry’s oldest and most esteemed awards event, Talat Karmo, Material Technology & Innovation Lead, was on hand to represent Ford at the ceremony. Maria Ciliberti, VP Marketing & New Business Development, Nicholas Kolesch, Head of Marketing Automotive, and Sanjay Patel, Automotive Commercial Manager North America, from Borealis, also attended.
Fibremod CB061SY is the first CFPP product to be used in production at Ford. Although only 6% carbon fibre-filled, it offers a stiffness of approx. 4000 MPa, and a density of 0.93. As an exterior application and hidden component, an A-surface finish is not required. By using this carbon fibre-filled product, Ford could achieve significant weight savings without having to compromise on performance requirements.
Fibremod CFPP is a suitable replacement for many conventional filled polymers used in the automotive industry. It boasts the excellent processability associated with lightly-filled PP. And unlike polyamides (PA), CFPP has the advantage of not being hygroscopic, meaning it does not absorb moisture. Compared to other engineering TPOs, CFPP products also help reduce ‘squeak and rattle’ noises.
At the recent SPE Automotive Composites Conference, the prestigious “Materials Innovation” award went to Magna Exteriors for their lightweight class-A fender made possible by Fibremod Carbon. Made from reclaimed Fibremod Carbon Fibre, the prize-winning body panel weighs 30% to 40% less than conventional aluminium panels. This makes for more sustainable, recyclable and above all, lightweight automotive exterior applications.