Ford cylinder head cover made with EcoLon resin. Click to enlarge. Ford is using EcoLon, a nylon resin made from 100% recycled carpet, to make the cylinder head covers on some Ford engines. The EcoLon material is produced by Wellman Engineering Resins; the cylinder head covers are manufactured by Dana... Read more →


Schematic of MuCell injection molding process (injection molding of microcellular plastics with characteristic microstructures). Kramschuster et al. 2005. Click to enlarge. Ford researchers have been investigating the use of the MuCell microcellular foam injection molding process to reduce component weight; weight reduction is a key Ford strategy to help lower... Read more →


Steps in recycling the booms to auto parts. Click to enlarge. General Motors has developed a method to convert an estimated 100 miles of the oil-laden plastic boom material used to soak up oil from the BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico earlier this year into parts for the... Read more →


Toyota to Use Bio-PET “Ecological Plastic” in Vehicle Interiors

Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) plans to make vehicle liner material and other interior surfaces from a new bio-PET-based “Ecological Plastic”. Bio-PET is polyethylene terephthalate; it consists of 70% terephthalic acid and 30% monoethylene glycol, by weight. Bio-PET is made by replacing monoethylene glycol with a biological raw material derived from... Read more →


Fraunhofer Researchers Develop New Method for Mass Production of Lightweight Thermoplastic Fiber Composite Components

Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology (ICT) in Pfinztal (Germany) have developed a new method for the production of thermoplastic fiber composite materials designed for large-scale use in vehicle construction. Once these materials have reached end of life, they can be shredded, melted down and reused to produce... Read more →


Under hood applications for Zytel PLUS. Click to enlarge. A new nylon family—DuPont Zytel PLUS—and new materials to enable laser welding techniques were the focus of two DuPont Automotive Performance Polymers talks presented recently at the SPE Automotive Engineering Plastics Conference (AutoEPCON) at the Michigan State University (MSU) Management Education... Read more →


Frost & Sullivan Outlines Opportunities for Chemical Companies in the Changing Automotive Sector

According to Frost & Sullivan, opportunities exist for chemical companies in the automotive sector as dramatic shifts in business models occur and the types of vehicles being produced change. Electric vehicles provide just one example of many new revenue streams available to chemical companies this decade. However, chemical companies must... Read more →


SABIC Innovative Plastics Introduces New Portfolio of Materials Targeted at Hybrid and EV Battery Packs

SABIC Innovative Plastics used Chinaplas 2010 in Shanghai as the venue to introduce a new portfolio of advanced Noryl and Valox automotive resins targeted for use in battery packs for hybrid (HEV), plug-in hybrid (PHEV), and battery electric vehicles (BEV). SABIC Innovative Plastics is a wholly owned subsidiary of Saudi... Read more →


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.... Read more →


Low wear, low friction injection moulded bushings, made of DuPont Vespel TP polyimide, are used to precisely guide the operating rods of EGR poppet valves manufactured by Wahler. Click to enlarge. In another example of the increasing use of plastics in the powertrain (earlier post), Gustav Wahler GmbH & Co.... Read more →


Novozymes in Two New Research Partnerships in Brazil; Biogas from Bagasse and Polypropylene from Sugarcane

Novozymes, an international enzymes and microorganisms company, has entered two new research partnerships in Brazil. A partnership with Cetrel, the largest provider of environmental solutions for the manufacturing industry in Latin America, is focused on the production of biogas from sugarcane bagasse using enzymes. The biogas can be used to... Read more →


Delphi’s award winning ultra-light radio. Click to enlarge. Delphi Corporation’s ultra light radio design with insert-molded electro magnetic compatibility (EMC) shielding, available on Chevrolet and GMC full size pick-ups and sport utility vehicles, won top recognition at the 39th Annual Society of Plastics Engineers International (SPE) Automotive Innovation Awards ceremony,... Read more →