Past Conference

Plastics in Motion 2016

May 8-11, 2016 in Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston, South Carolina

Conference Sessions

Monday, May 9, 2016

Session 1: Advances in Structural Composites
Session 2: Plastics in Automotive Interiors/Exteriors

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Session 3: Plastics Under the Hood
Session 4: Light-weighting Automotive Components
Session 5: Innovations in Manufacturing & Assembly

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Session 6: Specialty Materials and Additives
Session 7: Sustainable Automotive Plastics & Elastomers

Day 1

Monday, May 9, 2016


Continental Breakfast


Introductory Remarks, Amos Golovoy, Conference Chairman

Session 1: Advances in Structural Composites


Plenary Lecture: Advanced Polymer Composite Manufacturing Processes for Automotive Applications

David Trudel-Boucher (speaker), Loleï Khoun, Michel F. Champagne and Sylvain Labonté, Advanced Polymer Composites, Automotive & Surface Transportation, National Research Council Canada (NRC)

In recent years, the automotive industry has shown growing interest for the use of advanced polymer composites such as carbon fibres reinforced plastics (CFRP). This growing interest comes mainly from the fact that, due to their excellent specific properties, advanced polymer composites offer significant potential for lightweighting and thus improvement of the fuel efficiency. Proof of this growing interest, several strategic alliances has been developed lately between OEM’s and carbon fiber suppliers. However, in order for the automotive industry to take advantage of advanced polymer composites to produce lightweight components, it is necessary to develop rapid and cost-effective processing techniques adapted to these materials.

In this presentation, manufacturing processes adapted to the fabrication of advanced polymer composites automotive applications are reviewed. Processes covered in this presentation include forming of organosheets, HP-RTM/RTM, D-LFT, overmolding of organosheets and continuous lamination. First, basic principles of each technology are described. Then, ranges of mechanical properties that can be expected for each manufacturing technology are presented. Current or targeted applications are also discussed. Finally, technology gaps that must be overcome to allow widespread acceptance in the industry are also discussed.


Ford Shelby GT350R Carbon Fiber wheel

Adam Wirth, Ford Performance - Chassis Supervisor, Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company, using an innovation driven performance portfolio, has created the world’s first mass produced carbon fiber wheel. In partnership with Australian supplier Carbon Revolution, Ford Performance crafted a plan to validate cutting edge technology on their highest performing Mustang, to win both at the track, and on the street.  Key features include:

  • 60lbs weight save vs. an equivalently sized Aluminum wheel
  • 40% reduction in rotational inertia, allowing the GT350R to turn, stop, and accelerate faster
  • Higher lateral stiffness than OE Aluminum wheels, providing a balanced chassis feel and crisp steering response
  • Reduced impact NVH due to massive modal frequency shift
  • Industry first, ceramic barrier coating applied for heat protection, using plasma arc spray.

We will present the following topics:

  • Review the Ford Brand Promise, and how it ties in with the mission statement of Ford Performance.
  • Review of Carbon Revolution – a small innovative company dedicating its workforce to a single purpose that ties in with the Ford Performance mission statement.
  • Key vehicle and industry benefits of Carbon reinforced Plastic for use in road wheels.
  • Technology overview of the GT350R wheel.
  • Future application outlook.

Innovative Composite Processes for Lightweighting

Kragl Joachim, Engel

The presentation describes Engels Organomelt process which combines forming of continuous fiber reinforced sheets or plaques with the injection molding process in a single molding cell. The process allows the high volume production of composite parts in a very cost effective way with a faster cycle time than with any other composite manufacturing methods. Parts will be trimmed besides the machine after the molding process to leave the manufacturing cell as a net shape part, ready to be assembled. The second process introduced is in situ polymerization of monomers in an injection mold processed with a “close to standard” injection molding machine. The composite fiber reinforcement is placed into the mold and then “overmolded” with the monomers to create a composite structure in a single production step. The low viscosity of the monomers allows for unprecedented design and process opportunities with this technology.


Assembly of Moulded Composite Components by Adhesive Bonding

W.S. Gutowski (speaker), S.Li, C.Filippou, L.Russell, Industrial Interfaces Team, CSIRO Manufacturing Flagship, Melbourne/Australia

Polymeric composites such as carbon- or glass-reinforced polymers are the key replacement materials for steel in vehicle body components and structures where significant weight reduction is desired.

The body or structure components, predominantly fabricated from epoxy-matrix composites and requiring bonding or coating are in the form of moulded and non-moulded parts with surfaces contaminated by release agents or handling, which necessitates costly surface preparation prior to bonding. This may involve sanding, surface cleaning and other operations necessary to ascertain structural integrity of assembled body components or structure for the required strength and durability under demanding service conditions.

Owing to the above complexities, composite surfaces designated for bonding and coating require surface modification with the aim of achieving the following gains: (i) elimination of surface contaminants, (ii) high strength of adhesion resulting in cohesive fracture within the adhesive layer or composite matrix on exceeding failure stress level, and (ii) reliable and fast processing minimising manual handling impact.

The following has been demonstrated through this work targeting improved strength of adhesion between composite surfaces fabricated in moulds with the use of silicone release agents and bonded by polyurethane structural adhesive: (i) OH&S acceptable commodity solvents e.g. isoproanol or acetone do not remove mould release agents from the substrate surface to the extent sufficient to provide improved adhesion; (ii) corona discharge, atmospheric plasma or flame treatment commercially used by automotive industry do not provide desirable bond strength improvement when used alone (i.e. without subsequent use of graft chemicals), and (iii) a process comprising surface activation of moulded epoxy-based composites followed by application of reactive graft chemicals provides significant strength increase, up to the level producing cohesive failure within adhesive or composite matrix upon overloading above the failure stress.


Coffee Break


Innovative automotive skit plate & underbody shield composite technology

Boney Mathew, Executive Director Composites, Faurecia Automotive Exteriors, President & CEO, Mathson Composite Group, LLC

Today’s composites are technologically advanced composite materials that offer a number of significant advantages over steel and aluminum. The market is looking for Lighter Innovative Products with additional functionality. E.g. automotive industry is looking for lighter products to improve fuel efficiency.

Composite product s offers significant weight savings – Advanced composite represents as much as a 60 percent weight savings over steel, while offering all of the benefits that come with working with a composite versus a metal. High strength-to-weight ratio – Composites offer a very high strength-to-weight ratio, and can be designed to be far stronger than aluminum or steel. Metals are equally strong in all directions. But composites can be engineered and designed to be strong in a specific direction. Composites can be strong without being heavy.

Composites can achieve design cues that are impossible with most metals, because they are able to flow over the molds and into deep pockets, curves and other complex shapes that can’t be stamped into metal. This gives vehicle designers the freedom to create almost any shape or form they can imagine. Composites resist damage from environmental factors and harsh chemicals such as road salt that can eat away at other materials, causing rust.

Automakers with each modern vehicle redesign, they strive to save pounds, even ounces, in every possible way. They have a financial incentive to do so, of course. If they don’t get their Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) number to 54.5 mpg by 2025 they will pay significant cost penalty.

The benefits of even modest vehicle weight reduction are significant. Reducing an automobile’s weight by a mere 100 lbs reduces up to 5 g of CO2 /km and increases fuel economy by up to 2%.

This innovative composite skid plate and under body shield technology utilizes multi layers of carbon or glass or basalt or aramid or combination fiber fabric with thermoplastic polymers such as polyamide or acrylics etc. or thermoset polymers such as polyurethane or epoxy etc. as a binder to create structural composite.

The advantages of this composite skid plate and under body shield invention over metal skid plate are:

  • 50% to 60% weight reduction based on design requirement and tank configuration in turn improved fuel economy.
  • Improved corrosion resistance.
  • Rubber or elastomeric or metal reinforcement at bottom side of the composite skid plate improves impact and abrasion resistance.
  • Due to composite material construction it minimizes noise transfer from the pump module compared to metal skid plate, Option to add noise isolation layer to minimize noise transfer.
  • Reduction in wear/abrasion to mating part due to composite material.

Recycled carbon fibre textile for mainstream automotive applications

Brian Gardner, Business Development Manager, Sigmatex

The automotive use of carbon fibre composites is currently limited to the high-value sector such as luxury supercars and racing vehicles. More stringent emissions regulations and the necessity to improve fuel efficiency have accelerated the development of carbon-fibre composites for mainstream automotive applications. As a result, most major automotive companies and carbon fibre producers/converters are forming partnerships and consortia like the Sigmatex lightweighting excellence program to develop the composites supply chain for large volume markets.

Innovative, sustainable and cost effective materials such as sigmaRF are also key to support automotive OEM lightweighting initiatives. SigmaRF is a unique composites based on recycled carbon fibre aligned within a thermoplastic matrix. Fibre alignment offers excellent mechanical properties while the thermoplastic matrix facilitates forming, consolidation and processing. This paper will present the main characteristics and properties of sigmaRF in comparison to more traditional virgin fibre materials. Finally it will demonstrate sigmaRF’s potential as a mainstream material for automotive applications with various used cases.


Laser welding and cutting of long fibre reinforced thermoplastic composites and the influence on mechanical properties for lightweight structural application

Peter Hansen (speaker), Sandra Royo Perez, Richard Staehr, Verena Wippo, Peter Jaeschke

Peter Hansen (speaker)a, Sandra Royo Pereza, Richard Staehrb, Verena Wippob, Peter Jaeschkeb

  1. Element Materials Technology (UK)
  2. Laser Zentrum (Germany)

Carbon fibre reinforced plastics (CFRP) offer great potential for lightweight construction, especially in the transportation sector and structures based on thermoplastic matrix materials are of growing interest. One barrier to the widespread uptake of thermoplastic composites (TPC) structures is the lack of economic, quick and reliable component manufacturing processes that includes the joining technologies and the trimming of parts.

A consortium of organizations across Europe have been developing and assessing a novel joining technique for TPC parts based on laser transmission welding (LTW) technology. This welding method has provided the possibility to join thermoplastic brackets and retainers to larger components made of CFRP without adhesive bonding or riveting. Larger structures were also manufactured, welded and tested within the project. Laser transmission welding of TPC offers a highly flexible and automated process with short cycle times and with reduced manufacturing steps. Another advantage of this technique is the local and controllable heat development, which is the basis of generating small and precise weld seams for joining small parts

Laser machining of CFRP provides a processing method that is force-free, wear-free, fast and automated for cutting and trimming. However, for cutting processes the heat generated can lead to heat affected zones (HAZ), which can be distinguished by areas with vaporization or decomposition of the matrix material or delamination of the laminate. The HAZ can have an influence on the mechanical properties of CFRP structures.

This paper investigates the mechanical properties of laser welded and laser cut thermoplastic composite materials and compares the techniques with conventional joining and cutting technologies. For the laser transmission welding, the properties were determined using standard and bespoke test methods including small structural components and were compared with adhesive bonding and mechanical fasteners. For the laser cutting study the mechanical properties were determined by conducting standard tests including a ±45° tensile test to measure the in-plane shear strength. In addition, for each parameter set the extent of the different HAZ types were measured and visually evaluated by photomicrographs of cross-sections in order to correlate the mechanical behavior with the observable damage.


Break for Lunch (on your own)

Session 2: Plastics in Automotive Interiors/Exteriors


Delivering low emission and low odor plastics for automotive interiors

Jeffrey H. Helms, Ph.D., Global Automotive OEM Corporate Accounts Director, Celanese Engineered Materials

Automakers continue their push for lighter weight interior and exterior components to meet aggressive regulatory targets for 2021 and 2025 fuel economy and CO2. Most forecasts predict that powertrain actions alone will be unable to deliver these targets without a corresponding 30% reduction in vehicle mass. As a result, many manufacturers have already validated lighter weight structural components using long glass fiber reinforced thermoplastics in exterior applications including front end modules, grill opening reinforcements, bumper stiffeners and rear closures and interior applications including instrument panel, console and door inner panel structures. In each case, the components were delivered with both mass and cost savings relative to previous metal or even semistructural plastics designs.

Celanese Celstran® technology is one such material used broadly in the development and production of automotive components. By using a pultrusion process to create fully impregnated glass reinforced plastics, this technology delivers a high and consistent level of performance in structural applications. In addition, the Celstran technology has enabled first surface appearance parts in long glass fiber reinforced plastics which offer cost and weight benefits to traditional materials and the ability to locally reinforce traditional plastics in high impact or high load conditions. This presentation will review several of the commercial applications in long fiber reinforced thermoplastics both for structural and appearance applications.

Vehicle interior emissions and odor control have become increasingly important to global automotive manufacturers, led initially from Europe and Japan and now mandated in China. Today, all major automotive producers have either implemented specifications for interior air quality to control volatile organic emissions and odor in their cockpit designs and materials selection. Celanese has developed industry leading acetal products as well as low odor and carbon emission polypropylene composites that perform well to the regulatory or OEM requirements automotive interior air quality.

This paper will review the current status of industry emission and odor requirements and present Celanese material solutions data for vehicle interior air quality. As part of the materials solutions, the Celanese appearance technology suite has extended the reduction of interior emissions and odor by allowing automakers to deliver studio color requirements without the need to paint or plate parts after molding thereby reducing VOCs associated with painting solvents and delivery lower end item cost through process simplification.


PMMA molding compound for automotive glazing

Lawrence Gabriel, Business Development Manager, Evonik Industries

Plastics such as polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) have been used for many years in a variety of automotive applications such as durable taillight covers and non-transparent add-on body parts. Acrylics are conquering growing shares in new applications including vehicle interiors, decorative trim, ambient lighting and door entry strips. Glazing with plastics is one of the fields that offer the highest growth potential. Evonik Industries is presenting a new specialty molding compound—ACRYLITE® Resist AG 100—for manufacturing automotive glazing systems designed to replace glass. ACRYLITE® Resist AG 100 is the world’s first PMMA specialty molding compound for this application. It offers high resistance to UV light and weathering for which ACRYLITE® is known, is impact-modified and has up to 30 times the breaking strength of mineral glass. Our developers have also succeeded in significantly reducing the reversible haze that occurs in conventional impact-modified products at very high and low temperatures. ACRYLITE® Resist AG 100 offers a weight savings versus glass of 40-50% while providing a freedom of design for engineering flexibility.

Due to its balanced property profile, ACRYLITE® Resist AG 100 meets all the relevant requirements for the field of automotive glazing. It has undergone and passed all tests in line with ANSI Z26.1 and ECE R43 testing for automotive glazing. ACRYLITE® Resist AG 100 can be injection molded, injection compression molded and/or extruded with subsequent sheet thermoforming. ACRYLITE® Resist AG 100 is very compatible with hard coating processes and has inherent resistance to UV light and weathering. One-step coatings are used with ACRYLITE® while other thermoplastics that are less weather-resistant have to be protected by means of a two-step coating process leading to higher costs. The new ACRYLITE® Resist AG 100 therefore offers almost unlimited freedom to designers when it comes to developing unusual designs with curved lines and pronounced edges. This also applies to components made from this material, which unite several functions at the same time, such as non-movable quarter window, black pillar cover and taillight all in one.


Thermoplastic Elastomers for Automotive Applications

Greg Smith, Allen Donn and Sehyun Kim (speaker), Kraiburg-TPE

Thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) has had limited uses in the automotive applications. It is because the specifications for the applications were written with the polymers that were commercially available in the market place before scientists and engineers developed TPE formulations that are suitable for automotive applications. With advanced formulation technology, Kraiburg-TPE has developed a variety of engineered TPEs that can be employed in the exterior, interior and under the hood applications. In this presentation, various TPEs that have been commercialized for automotive applications are introduced.


Coffee Break


Automotive Exterior Lightweight Shielding Evaluations

Rich Jordan, VP Engineering, CORVAC COMPOSITES

Existing and impending fuel economy regulations are driving the aerodynamic and light weighting efforts in automotive exterior applications. Where once uncovered, the entireties of vehicle underbodies are being encapsulated to improve airflow, and reduce drag, to improve fuel economy and lower emissions.

Some of the embodiments utilize non-woven textile shields to achieve the lightweight targets and provide aerodynamic and acoustic benefits. Because of the absorptive nature many textile materials, they retain substantial amounts of water which in turn increase the weight of the products robbing fuel economy. As the water carries other foreign matter such as dirt, salt, oil and other impurities, these materials become permeated within the fibrous matrix, much like a filtration device. As this process continues, lightweight and acoustic absorption attributes are diminished.

Studying a number of automotive exterior textile shields for their lightweight attributes and acoustic performance and comparing them against their used counterparts shows changes in performance over time. Components were taken from vehicles driven in the course typical suburban driving, and were not from OEM durability loops or off-road applications. Investigations indicate a mass gain between 80% and 260% after a 7 day drying period, with mass increases approaching 700% when wet and dirty on a series of exterior components. Additional study on the component level acoustic absorptive behavior on a component level, and have seen 50% to 80% erosion of the broadband absorptive benefits after the cited normal usage.

To control and study this, a laboratory study was conducted over 7 different automotive OEMs and 16 different indiscriminant products addressing the impact of water on various exterior substrates on a material level. This study shows a similar mass gain and acoustic absorption loss for all non-woven textile materials regardless of OEM, exact construction, or particular application.

Addressing the lightweight product requirements, CORVAC COMPOSITES, LLC offers a lightweight standard single sheet thermoformed, and newly introduced Thin-TwinTM (twin sheet thermoformed) products to address aerodynamic shielding requirements. These products yield 20 to 50% less mass than traditional injection molded substrates, engineered stiffness, acoustic barrier performance, optional engineered acoustic absorption design options, and 100% end of life recyclability. In similarly used components, CORVAC parts show mass gains of less than 5%, and equivalent acoustic absorptive performance between new and used conditions. In general, the reasons for the adoption of absorptive textiles such as light weight and acoustics may have unintended consequences of higher weight and lower absorption as performance degrades over time.


Laser Texturing: Changing tomorrow's Interior/Exterior today

Chad Hase, Manager, GF Machining Solutions
  • Explain the Laser Texturing process and features/benefits it can bring to the automotive market. Used for interior, lighting, and under the hood appearance.
  • Discuss what is currently being used in the European market and explain the process and how it can be applied in design and styling.
  • Show how texture is done currently (chemical etching) and how this new technology can not only work with it but also possibly completely replace it.
  • Show new grains produced by laser texturing and used in Europe (Geometric Patterns) These surface grains is impossible with current means of texturing (chemical etching).
  • This novel technology gives styling and design departments endless opportunities.

Improve Sunscreen Resistance of Automotive Interior Soft Feel Coatings

Jianhui (Joe) Zhou, Eastman Chemical Company

Soft feel coatings are commonly applied to interior plastic parts of passenger cars to improve comfort and aesthetic value, especially in premium cars. Soft feel coatings are also widely used in consumer electronics for the same purpose. A critical unmet need for this application is sunscreen resistance. Polyesters containing TMCD glycol (2,2,4,4-tetramethyl-1,3-cyclobutanediol) are known to possess excellent hardness/flexibility balance coupled with improved chemical resistance, hydrolytic stability and outdoor durability. This work introduced TMCD based polyester polyol into a typical soft feel coating formulation. The development focus is to increase stain and chemical resistance, including sunscreen resistance, while maintaining its soft touch feeling.


Cheese & Wine Reception

Day 2

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Session 3: Plastics Under the Hood


Polymotor 2: Development of All-Plastic Engine

Brian Baleno, Global Automotive Business Manager, Solvay Specialty Polymers

Solvay Specialty Polymers, a leading global supplier of high-performance thermoplastics for the automotive industry, is a Platinum Sponsor and key collaborator for the Polimotor 2 thermoplastic engine concept. This ground-breaking automotive development builds on earlier work by Polimotor creator and designer Matti Holtzberg to demonstrate the advanced performance and unique light-weighting capabilities of today’s thermoplastics technology in a real-world engine design.

Weight reduction has been a constant goal for automotive OEMs and Tiers, who have increasingly relied on high-performance plastics to replace metal parts in exterior, interior and underhood applications. Today, high-performance polymers from Solvay are seeing strong growth as a metal replacement option in the powertrain as well, particularly as OEMs pursue engine downsizing and transmission down-speeding designs.

By introducing new options for metal replacement, Solvay’s materials can help enhance fuel efficiency through mass reduction, enabling OEMs to comply with tougher corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) regulations and stricter global CO2 emission standards. The automotive industry widely regards both goals to be the top design challenges over the next five to ten years. The goal of Polimotor 2 is to develop a four-cylinder, double-overhead CAM engine weighing between 138 and 148 lbs (63-67 kgs) that will save approximately 90 lbs (41 kgs) vs. today’s standard production engine.

Polimotor 2 will help map new solutions to these challenges by targeting development of up to ten thermoplastic engine components, including a water pump, oil pump, water inlet/outlet, throttle body, fuel rail, cam sprockets and others. These applications will make use of several Solvay materials including Torlon® PAI, Amodel® polyphthalamide (PPA), KetaSpire® polyetheretherketone (PEEK), AvaSpire® polyaryletherketone (PAEK), Radel® polyphenylsulfone (PPSU), Ryton® polyphenylene sulfide (PPS) and Tecnoflon® VPL fluoroelastomers.


Advances in High-Temperature Plastics for Under the Hood Applications

Frank Lorenz, Evonik

There is an increasing demand in the automotive industries for high heat resistance thermoplastic material to withstand higher temperature requirement. Beside the metal replacement trend, the area under the hood is getting smaller (or compact) and hotter. In this presentation, the unique features of VESTAKEEP® PEEK (polyetheretherketone) and VESTAMID® PPA (polyphthalamide) will be reviewed in a variety of solutions ranging from sensors, actuators, gears and other applications in which their performances under the high heat condition and in combination with other properties such as tribology are described.


Novel Bulk Molding Compound for Automotive Engine Components

Randy Lewis (speaker), ZeMC2, Ted Bowman, Archer Automotive

A new bulk molding compound (BMC) has been developed that appears be useable for every part of an internal combustion engine with the exception of piston rings and spark plug. The new BMC has a glass transition temperature of 290°C and is capable of operating excursions above this temperature. The wear resistance is demonstrated by seven years of field use as wear rings in high pressure water pumps. As stated by Carver Pump of Muscatine, IA, “no measurable or visible wear on the ring or the shaft on which it rode in 7 years of service”. The BMC is thermally conductive and naturally move moves the heat away from the friction area. A projected is being initiated to produce a single cylinder, internal combustion, gasoline, air cooled engine to demo. This engine hopefully will be able to operate without oil. It will be considerably lighter than an aluminum engine and function at higher temperatures. The results of this experiment will be presented in this paper.


Plastic Rear Muffler

Marco Barbolini, Röchling Automotive

Today all the rear muffler are made by metals. This kinds of parts have a quite high weight, are not so simple to be integrated in the underbody to try to increase the aerodynamic and, due to the technology chosen, do not use properly the available package.

Purpose of the presentation is to show the investigations, simulations and measurements done to verify if it would be possible to substitute, for some applications, the actual solution with a plastic one. To reach this target was necessary to do a benchmarking to understand what was on the market and which solutions were available, than were simulation done to solve the acoustical “problem” , were materials searched to reach the temperature and chemical resistance targets and, at the end, there were produced and assembled to some cars prototypes to verify if the solutions proposed could be able to reach the targets that we gave us.


Coffee Break

Session 4: Light-weighting Automotive Components


Lightweighting Automotive Interior and Exterior Structures

Jeffrey H. Helms, Ph.D., Global Automotive OEM Corporate Accounts Director, Celanese Engineered Materials

Automakers continue their push for lighter weight interior and exterior components to meet aggressive regulatory targets for 2021 and 2025 fuel economy and CO2. Most forecasts predict that powertrain actions alone will be unable to deliver these targets without a corresponding 30% reduction in vehicle mass. As a result, many manufacturers have already validated lighter weight structural components using long glass fiber reinforced thermoplastics in exterior applications including front end modules, grill opening reinforcements, bumper stiffeners and rear closures and interior applications including instrument panel, console and door inner panel structures. In each case, the components were delivered with both mass and cost savings relative to previous metal or even semistructural plastics designs.

Celanese Celstran® technology is one such material used broadly in the development and production of automotive components. By using a pultrusion process to create fully impregnated glass reinforced plastics, this technology delivers a high and consistent level of performance in structural applications. In addition, the Celstran technology has enabled first surface appearance parts in long glass fiber reinforced plastics which offer cost and weight benefits to traditional materials and the ability to locally reinforce traditional plastics in high impact or high load conditions. This presentation will review several of the commercial applications in long fiber reinforced thermoplastics both for structural and appearance applications.


Thermoplastic Foam Solutions for Lightweighting Automotive Components

Hongbo Li (speaker), Michel F. Champagne, Minh-Tan Ton-That, Karen Stoeffler, Polymer Bioproducts, Automotive & Surface Transportation, National Research Council Canada (NRC)

National Research Council Canada (NRC) has developed a number of thermoplastic foaming solutions that can be used to reduce weight and cost of automotive components. This technical presentation illustrates a number of examples on foaming of commodity and engineering thermoplastics, including conventional and bio-based resins, using processes such as extrusion foaming or solid state foaming. It covers the formulation and processing aspects, as well as the relationship between formulation, processing and performance of high and low density foamed products. Finally, the potential applications of the foam products in various sectors including automotive and mass transit are discussed.


Weight Reduction Without Losing Mechanical Performance

Juergen Giesow PhD, Arburg

With novel injection molding technology there is an excellent opportunity to increase energy efficiency through weight reduction of injection molded automotive components. ‘Light weighting’ of parts while maintaining, or even improving, their performance in their respective application fields, such as automotive and aerospace fuel efficiency, is now a focal point in the injection molding industry.


Novel Technology for Light-Weighting of Automotive Components - Continuous Production of Thermoplastic Honeycomb Sandwich Parts

Tomasz Czarnecki, Technology Manager, EconCore

The automotive industry is increasingly making use of lightweight construction materials in an effort to reduce CO2 emissions by reducing the weight of vehicles. EconCore has developed the innovative ThermHex technology to continuously produce lightweight thermoplastic honeycomb cores at minimal cost. The process is integrated in such a way that skin layers are directly laminated onto the core producing very strong but lightweight and cost effective sandwich panel. Different to conventional production processes, the EconCore patented ThermHex process allows for a production of honeycomb sheets in theoretically endless lengths and at minimal energy. The low consumption of raw materials helps to save on resources and to reduce the CO2 foot print.

EconCore’s ThermHex technology has proven that its lightweight honeycomb cores and panels are successfully used in various, cost sensitive, high-volume production markets like packaging, automotive, transportation, building & construction, etc.

Developments of innovative solutions for door panels/ door inserts and development of glass reinforced thermoplastic solutions will be presented. Results show that honeycomb panels are a better alternative to metal or monolithic composite sheets, rigidity to weight ratio is excellent, thermoformability, thermal insulation capability and damping capabilities are met while cost remain competitive EconCore will present on the joint work done with Lanxess on development of new thermoplastic composite based sandwich materials which open new perspectives particularly in transpiration applications.

Regarding door trim, in comparison to injection molded ABS or PP parts or/and monolithic natural fiber / PP composites, a weight reduction of over 50% can be realized with natural fiber/PP faced honeycomb sandwich design. Good acoustic absorption is achieved due to the honeycomb system and air permeable skin.

Finally, EconCore will reference companies using the patented ThermHex technology, amongst the others Renolit producing lightweight honeycomb structures under the brand of GORCELL (being used, for instance, as trunk floor of Maserati Ghibli). Another licensee of EconCore, a large steel maker, is developing lightweight solutions for the transportation industry.

Other applications of the unique EconCore honeycomb technology will also be briefly discussed: rigid truck boxes and caravan body parts (where, next to the excellent mechanical performance, the very good thermal insulation properties of the honeycomb structure are much appreciated), vehicle floor covers and interior fittings, rear parcel shelves & spare wheel cover for cars, roof linings, vibration dampers and many others.


Unique Bonding Material and Thermoplastic Composite UD-Tape for Lighter Automotive Components

Martin Risthaus, Business Director Lightweight Design, Evonik

To meet the strictest emission regulation with an increasing demand on fuel efficiency, the automotive sector has open up to more non-traditional solutions that can further support the weight reduction trend with enhanced performance. At Evonik, VESTAMELT® Hylink was specially developed to enable the bonding between metallic structure and polymer surfaces. VESTAMELT® Hylink is a copolyamide- based adhesion promotor specially modified to create an exceptionally strong & reliable bond between the metal and plastics. This solution open up new assembly possibility in existing hybrid structures design. In the area of thermoplastic composites, Evonik has been developing various UD-Tape (unidirectional- tape) solutions based on three different thermoplastic matrix namely, polyamide (PA), polyphthalamide (PPA) and polyetheretherketone (PEEK). The UD-Tape is the basic foundation for the production of the thermoplastic composite. With thermoplastic composite, the designer can further explore alternative joining method that can significantly reduce the processing cost.


Break for Lunch

Session 5: Innovations in Manufacturing & Assembly


Tailor Made and Functional Surfaces in a Single Production Step

Kragl Joachim, Engel

The presentation provides an introduction and overview of various Engel processes, which offer entirely new ways to combine various technologies to create several surfaces in one production step.

Processes discussed will include Dophin in which a soft touch skin is created in a 2 component process utilizing MuCell. Presentation will also include Clearmelt where either a high gloss surface or a soft foam is created in one injection molding machine with 2 component Polyurethane. The paper closes discussing variotherm and Varymelt technology which create either high gloss or extremly soft touch surfaces. The presentation also provides an overview about functional surfaces via capacity foils. These foils have a printed circuit that is overmolded in the injection molding process. The film replaces buttons, sliders and other mechanical elements for a clean, cost effective and streamlined experience.


Rapid Heat/Rapid Cool (RHRC) Molding Technology: a game changer for injection molded automotive components

Nobuyuki Yamanaka, Technology Director, Matsui America, Inc.

Traditional injection molding induces a number of processing limitations, as well as surface imperfection in visible automotive interior parts. This presentation depicts newly developed injection molding technology producing automotive interior parts with high gloss, uniform color and free from sink marks, weld lines and other cosmetic imperfections without the need for painting or coating, using innovative Rapid Heat/Rapid Cool technologies. The paper explains different heating methods such as induction, oil, water and steam as well as explains the use of 3D metal printing to enable conformal heating and cooling. Participants will learn some of enabling design possibilities based on a few case studies.


Aluminum tooling for injection molding automotive parts

Darcy King, President & CEO, Unique Tool & Gauge Inc.

Aluminum tooling for higher volume production offers the potential of injection molding on lower clamp tonnage molding machines, along with cycle time reduction of up to 50% or more versus traditional P-20 steel. This presentation will discuss applications and plastic materials where aluminum tooling works best, typical development times versus steel tooling, best practices and lessons learned over the course of several years of production usage.


Coffee Break


Virtual Molding for Thermoplastic Automotive Products

Kaushik Manek, SIGMA Plastic Services

Are you confident all of the molds you build or will operate over the next 12 to 24 months will perform at a profitable level starting from the first trial? What if they don’t? How will this influence your business? What if they could? How would that level of profitability change your business?

Increasing profitability cannot happen without change! Change is necessary for survival. Change is a good thing. How else can your business change for the better?

Why don’t molds work as expected? Because we are unaware of a particular issue or we didn’t communicate the issues we do know about effectively. What if your team could foresee these issues and communicate about resolving them with confidence? The ability to have concise communication, both internally and externally, about critical issues before they even happen will encourage positive change.

SIGMA Plastic Services presents the business side of integrating virtual molding and how first trial success is both possible and repeatable in thermoplastic molding today using an interior (cosmetic) dashboard component as an example.

  • How can we discover the critical issues and how can we communicate them effectively?
    • Product development
    • Mold development
    • Process development

Success means something different to everyone. To SIGMA, it means making good parts with a predefined and profitable process during the first molding trial. This will change your business for the better.


Direct Injection Molding of Recycled Plastics

George Staniulis, President, AGS Technology

In the never-ending quest to reduce the manufacturing costs of automotive components, utilizing recycled plastics to make brackets, retainers, substrates, under-the-hood items, and other structural components has become a viable option.

Automotive OEM’s have acknowledged the utility of these materials by approving a good number of these recycled resins for production, which are produced by well-established plastic compounders.

Just as the OEM’s are focused on taking cost out of their supply chain, the supply chain that converts scrap plastic into product can be simplified to gain efficiencies, reduce cost, and produce automotive components without any quality compromises.

This presentation will discuss the methodology of streamlining the recycling chain by combining the compounding/pelletizing operation with injection molding. The paper will discuss the necessary processing steps, the equipment, and procedures necessary to insure that the desired results are attained.


Cheese & Wine Reception

Day 3

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Session 6: Specialty Materials and Additives


Novel Conductive Plastics Lightweighting Lead-Acid Batteries

Doug Bathauer, CEO, Integral Technologies

Integral Technologies has developed a highly conductive polymer bipolar plate that can improve the performance of lead-acid batteries, and cut battery weight and size by over 50%. The development of this plate has evolved from the core material they manufacture called ElectriPlast®. ElectriPlast is a non-corrosive, electrically conductive resin-based material whose properties allow it to be molded into any of the infinite shapes and sizes associated with plastics, rubbers and other polymers while reducing component weight by 40 to 60%. This lead-based battery technology has attracted multiple battery companies that are looking to lower weights and improve their battery designs.


Anti-scratch Additives for Polyolefins

Chip Netzel, Croda

The use of plastics in automotive applications is becoming increasingly popular due to improved polymer technology and durability, coupled with the regulatory need to light-weight vehicles and reduce CO2 emissions. In this presentation, Croda will discuss a range of products developed for this challenging market. Our products can be utilized in a range of automotive applications including interior and exterior parts and under-the-hood components.

This paper will focus on the use of additives for mold release and anti-scratch in PP injection molded parts. Benefits in volatility, visible bloom and oxidative stability will also be presented.


The Use of Taggants for Anti-counterfeiting of Plastic

Sarah Skidmore, Marketing Manager, Plastics Color Corporation

The cost of counterfeiting to consumers and businesses globally is $600 billion annually. Despite the hearty efforts of government agencies, counterfeiting plastics is a big business. And counterfeiting it is not only a big issue financially, but consumer safety is a major concern as well. Leveraging an anti-counterfeiting measure in plastic applications is a vital way for companies to conduct due diligence and corporate compliance.

Plastics Color Corporation proudly provides a proactive measure with the specialty additive, MiBatch®. MiBatch is the polymer anti-counterfeiting system through the use of covert material taggants. It is an extremely effective measure, enabling manufacturers and OEMs to protect brand identity and ensure supply chain integrity. MiBatch is an effective way to combat counterfeiting as it is easy to authenticate but very difficult for criminals to detect and replicate. This specialty additive for polymers functions consistently under wide ranging environmental conditions without affecting product performance, and each unique chemical “signature” can be consistently produced at any volume. The heart of this proactive strategy is providing consumers with the trust, safety, and quality only associated with authentic products.


Sustainable Flame Retardants for Automotive Applications

Joel Tenney, Director of Advocacy, ICL Group

Over the years, ICL has developed a wide range of sustainable and safe polymeric and reactive Flame Retardants for automotive applications. Recently, ICL has launched a risk based methodology (the FR Framework) to assess the extent to which potential hazards of substances translate into potential risks due to possible exposure to humans and/or to the environment during the service life of such substances. Polymeric fire protection additives and reactive substances yielding inherently flame retardant materials perform well in this framework. These flame retardants find place in performing, high thermal stability applications as under-the hood Polyamides and Polyesters as well as in interior parts and components such as seats’ flexible foams and thermal or acoustic insulation systems.


Coffee Break

Session 7: Sustainable Automotive Plastics & Elastomers


Passion for Light Weight Design

Thilo Stier, Akro-Plastics GmbH

The presentation is about weight reduction, ways to make parts lighter.

Lower density matrix materials – Blending technologies

Lower weight fillers – ICF Carbon fibre Technology with extreme competitive pricing

Hollow structures – Water injection or endothermic foaming agents

Hybrid – multi material constructions metal plastic adhesion

Weight reduction of 52% is possible by the combination of the above technologies.


New Developments in Talc and Cellulose Fiber Reinforced Polypropylene Compounds for Automotive Interior Weight Savings

Vaibhav (Vive) Apte, Manager of Polyolefins R&D, Asahi Kasei Plastics North America

The use of Reinforced PP materials in Automotive Interior continues to increase due to their favorable strength/impact balance and lower specific cost compared to engineering thermoplastics. 2025 CAFÉ standard will reflect 54.45 mpg and 166 gCO2/mile by 2025. To meet 2025 emission standards, average vehicle weight must be decreased by 200-370 lbs. Some of this necessary weight savings is expected from a switch to lower density plastic materials.

Asahi Kasei Plastics has recently developed several new PP compounds. These new compounds are based on Cellulose Fiber and/or also include high flow, strength and stiffness Talc filled PP grades. These provide equivalent performance at reduced weight. The use of these new PP compounds that provide equivalent level of stiffness yet lower carbon foot print will be discussed in the context of material replacement to achieve a value/performance proposition.


Green EPDM compounds

Pete Spanos, Technical Manager, LANXESS

Two great challenges of our generation are the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and addressing the limited availability of fossil fuels. Keltan® Eco is LANXESS’ response to an urgent call to increase the eco-friendliness of rubber. Keltan® Eco is the world’s first commercial EP(D)M, produced from bio-based feedstock. The ethylene used in this process is produced from ethanol, derived from sugar cane.

In further efforts to increase the sustainability of EPDM rubber products, we have explored the potential of green alternatives for traditional reinforcing fillers and plasticiser oils. Carbon black, obtained from pyrolysis of waste tires, rice husk ash and nano-cellulose have been investigated as replacements for commercial carbon black filler, which is produced via incomplete combustion of a hydrocarbon feed with natural gas. A variety of natural oils and fat, factice and squalane have been studied as replacements for traditional extender oils, which are refinery fractions of crude oil.

This study has resulted in a sulfur-vulcanised EPDM compound with a sustainable content of more than 75% and properties comparable to standard EPDM compounds.


Conference Adjourn