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Borealis Nepol PP Aids BMW’s Lower Weight Dashboard

The Nepol GB215HP-based dashboard carrier for the latest 7 Series is up to 20% lighter. Click to enlarge.

Borealis’ Nepol GB215HP, a tailor-made long glass fibre polypropylene (LGF-PP), is the material behind BMW’s development of an up to 20% lighter, single material dashboard carrier solution for its 7 Series models. The lightweight carrier supports BMW’s drive to simplify production and lower costs while improving its vehicles’ fuel efficiency.

Nepol GB215HP from Borealis, a leading provider of chemical and plastic solutions, is the only LGF-PP compatible with BMW’s automated integral foam injection technology, known as SGI. SGI enables BMW to produce lightweight parts which exhibit the same performance profile as compact material and heavier parts.

BMW’s choice of Borealis’ 20% LGF-PP grade to replace its previous two-component dashboard construction has secured a number of advantages in addition to weight reduction:

  • Nepol GB215HP gives significantly better warpage behavior and therefore improved processing and lower system costs for the BMW team.

  • The new single material solution requires less material to achieve the mechanical properties of high stiffness and strength, and impact performance required for the dashboard carrier, adding to the overall production cost-efficiency and component performance.

  • The use of recyclable PP contributes to raising the environmental profile of the 7 Series, with the general vehicle weight saving ultimately lowering fuel consumption.

For this project, BMW was both the OEM and, through its Landshut Innovation and Technology Centre, the project’s Tier 1 supplier. To ensure optimal benefits from the switch to Nepol GB215HP, Borealis worked closely with Landshut to provide fine-tuning of the material for the injection moulding process and CAED support for processing and performance simulation.

Borealis also provides the material for the dashboard carrier in the Fiat 500. Daplen EE168AI is a 10% mineral-filled polypropylene compound intended for injection moulding.

Borealis is a leading global provider of chemical and plastics solutions, and is owned 64% by the International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) of Abu Dhabi and 36% by OMV, the leading energy group in the European growth belt. Borealis is headquartered in Vienna, Austria, and has production locations, innovation centers and customer service centers across Europe and the Americas.

Through Borouge, a joint venture between Borealis and the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), the company’s footprint reaches out to the Middle East, Asia Pacific, the Indian sub-continent and Africa.

Today Borealis and Borouge manufacture 4.4 million tonnes of polyolefins (polyethylene and polypropylene) per year. Borouge is currently tripling its polyolefins manufacturing capacity to 2 million tonnes per year (t/y) by mid-2010 and an additional 2.5 million t/y is scheduled for 2013.



Somehow saving a few pounds in an already overweight 7 series BMW does not strike me a a breakthrough nor the right area to work on. Space frames and polymer panels will get them much further in weight reduction.

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