Teijin Chemicals, Ltd., the Teijin Group’s resin and plastic processing business arm, has developed Panlite AM-9937F, a material that combines dimensional precision and an ultra-smooth surface for automotive applications. Panlite AM-9937F enables product designs that were previously unachievable due to the limitations of conventional metal. The company plans to market the material for external automotive body parts and garnish, and expects to achieve annual sales of ¥10 billion (US$125 million) by fiscal 2020.
Panlite AM-9937F, which was co-developed with Toyota Gosei Co., Ltd., is a polymer alloy made by combining Teijin Chemicals’ proprietary polycarbonate Panlite and polyester resin. Its key performance features include moldability, design flexibility, and high resistance to impact, heat and corrosion, as well as a low linear expansion coefficient.
The lightweight material will also enable automobile manufacturers to reduce the weight of components by about 20% compared with metal. Recently it has been adopted for the luggage door garnish on the Lexus HS250h hybrid sedan.
The automotive industry has prioritized vehicle weight reduction and improved fuel efficiency amid increased concerns about global warming and fossil fuel consumption. There has been a growing trend of using of resins instead of glass and metal to reduce the weight of automotive parts such as windows, frames, and body components.
To date, various resins, particularly polycarbonate, have been widely used for parts like door handles and hubcaps, but as the demand for lighter vehicles increases, manufacturers are expected to utilize resins for larger parts, including rear doors and fenders.