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Ford Putting New Plastics into Production Vehicles for Weight Reduction

The new Ford Kuga crossover is the first Ford-branded vehicle on the road with plastic fenders molded from SABIC Innovative Plastics’ lightweight, impact-resistant, and recyclable Noryl GTX resin. Manufacturing the front fenders from Noryl GTX resin cut the Kuga’s weight by 2.0 kg compared to steel.

SABIC Innovative Plastics’ Noryl GTX resin can withstand the high temperatures required during the painting process, enabling Ford to utilize its normal on-line body painting process without special handling, and ensuring a color match with the rest of the car’s body. Noryl GTX resin is also conductive, allowing high paint-transfer efficiency during the painting process and avoiding the added cost of pre-painting with a conductive primer. Further, the use of thermoplastics significantly expands design options vs. stamped sheet metal.

Noryl GTX blends polyamide (PA) and modified polyphenylene ether (PPE) polymer technologies, combining the dimensional stability, low-water absorption, and heat resistance of PPE with the chemical resistance and flow of PA. The result is an extremely chemically resistant material with the stiffness, impact resistance, and heat performance required for on-line painting.

The Kuga also features Ford’s first production energy absorber for pedestrian protection, molded of lightweight Xenoy resin and uses SABIC STAMAX long-glass-fiber-reinforced polypropylene product in the tailgate inner structure.



The idea of "adding lightness" to cars is not new. What is new is the car companies actually doing it!
If you think about it, you realize a light automobile with aerodynamic panels allows the car to use smaller, more-efficient engines to move the passenger load.
Where possible race cars lose as much weight as possible, often replacing trunk lids, hoods and rear glass with plastics.

Max Reid

Good effort.

Even more important is replacing Truck Chassis with Car Chassis. I guess the new Explorer will have a Car chassis and will weigh less.

Only pickup need the truck chassis since they carry a heavy load.

Richard Burton

anybody know how much percentage-wise this saves? how does this compare to a steel fender? fiberglass? aluminum? Richard

I don't know about this specific vehicle but the average steel fenders on a small car are only about 5 to 10lbs each. I'm thinking a crossover would be north of 10lbs on each fender. Maybe a 20% reduction in weight by my back of the napkin calculations.

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