Past Conference

Plastics in Motion 2017

June 4-7, 2017 in Troy, Michigan

Global Automotive Plastics Congress & Exhibit

Conference Sessions

Monday, June 5, 2017

Session 1: Light-weighting Automotive Components
Session 2: Advances In Structural Composites

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Session 3: Plastics In Automotive Interiors, Exterior, & Engine Compartment
Session 4: Materials Innovations For Automotive Applications

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Session 5: Innovations In Automotive Plastics Processing & Assembly
Session 6: Smart Materials And Specialty Additives

Day 1

Monday, June 5, 2017


Continental Breakfast


Keynote Address: Advanced Plastics and Composites Shaping the Car of the Future

Brian Krull, Global Director of Innovation-Exteriors, Magna Exteriors

As increasingly stringent emissions standards drive the use of plastics and composites to lower vehicle weight, it’s imperative that the industry find new and innovative applications, materials and manufacturing processes. Where advanced materials were previously used only on high-end and niche vehicles, regulatory and market demands require applications across all models. Advanced materials provide the best opportunity to improve performance, styling, strength and safety. A key challenge to overcome is how to modify manufacturing and assembly processes to meet high-volume production with new materials.

Session 1: Light-Weighting Automotive Components


Automotive Lightweighting through Manufacturing Process, Materials, and Design Considerations.

Jeff Schipper, Global Industry Manager, Proto Labs

Weight reduction in manufactured components is becoming increasingly important for companies in the automotive industry. In this presentation, you will learn how different manufacturing processes, materials like magnesium, and design techniques can help reduce components’ weight and cut costs throughout the product development lifecycle. See how 3D printing, CNC machining and injection molding allow you to reduce the number of components in a product design and learn different ways that you can modify your design to minimize weight. We’ll also highlight which lightweighting materials offer improved properties and strength.


Replacing Castings with Plastic for Weight and Cost Reduction

Derek Barkey, Innova Engineering Inc.

Replacing metal castings with injection-molded plastic can provide both cost and weight savings for automotive applications. Fiber-reinforced plastic is light weight, strong, fatigue resistant, and easily re-cycled. Injection molded plastic is also a faster process than metal casting, allowing high volumes with a lower non-recurring cost. Exploiting the benefits of injection-molded fiber-reinforced plastic to replace metal castings requires a design process that simultaneously optimizes the part and the mold. This paper explores the design aspects that require consideration when replacing a casting with injection-molded plastic. This is illustrated with a representative automotive part that is re-designed with fiber-reinforced plastic, including incorporating metal inserts at fastener locations, design optimization for strength and stiffness, prediction and optimization of fiber orientation, and molding considerations for shrinkage and warpage.


Coffee Break


Lightweighting for Automotive using Continuous Fiber Reinforced Thermoplastic Composites

Nam Hyeong Kim, Hanwha Advanced Materials Corp, South Korea.

Continuous fiber reinforced thermoplastic Composites (CFRTPC) can lead to significant weight reduction and great improvement of combination properties because of their inherent advantages. It is emerging as a potential for weight reduction in automotive industries. We developed various types of CFRTPC including unidirectional prepregs, laminated sheets, and rods. Reinforcements used with thermoplastic composites are E-glass, carbon and aramid. Selected matrix resins are polypropylene (PP), Nylon. This paper is focused on effect of spreading, impregnation and shaping devices and optimization of process condition for rapid thermoplastic impregnation of fiber bundles. Also, we reviewed application examples such as bumper beam, seat structures, front end carriers and so on using suitable type of materials.


Enabling Ultra-Thin Light Weight Automotive Structural Parts with High Flow Long Fiber Reinforced Thermoplastics

Jeffrey Helms, Global Director, Celanese

Automakers continue to look for affordable solutions that deliver component performance while driving part weights down by as much as 30% to drive CAFÉ performance at the vehicle level. Long glass fiber reinforced thermoplastics have traditionally been used in automotive component structures such as instrument panels, front end modules, door module carriers and underbody shields to deliver cost and weight savings relative to metal solutions. To significantly enable lower mass and cost efficient solutions for these subsystems, Celanese has developed a high flow long fiber reinforced thermoplastic addition to the Celstran portfolio which delivers nearly 50% high spiral flow without sacrificing material mechanical properties and interior air quality requirements. These materials enable part wall thickness reductions of up to 50% while maintaining 90% of the component stiffness. Full material characterization for fiber orientation, warpage and rheology have been validated through component trials to provide robust inputs for automotive designs. By enabling thinner wall designs with a more traditional glass fiber reinforcement, delivering significantly lighter weight solutions without the use of higher cost carbon reinforcement will enable automakers and their suppliers to achieve weight targets within program cost targets.


A New Generation of Composite Thermoplastics for Light Weight Automotive Applications

John Fialka, Manager, Business Development Automotive, INEOS Styrolution America

Styrolution is interested in giving a presentation on a new styrenic copolymer composite (StyLight) for light weight solutions with outstanding surface quality. This technology may be applied to automotive interior applications as well as a range of other structural parts. Styrolution has developed a new thermoplastic composite that delivers an excellent mechanical performance profile in stiffness, strength and impact resistance that is on par with or better than current PA6 or PC based composites in the market for woven glass reinforced thermoplastics. StyLight production processes ensure high quality and low cycle times as complex parts can be produced in a hybrid process. The thermoplastic composite sheets can be thermoformed, back injection molded and decorated in just one processing step. At the same time, the lower shrinkage during the consolidation step of the styrenic copolymer matrix, based on a modified SAN matrix, reduces the surface roughness or “waviness”, offering a superior surface quality. Stylight offers a versatile composite solution combining the best qualities for both structural and aesthetic excellence.

12:30pm - 2:30

Free time for lunch

Session 2: Advances in Structural Composites


Validation Of Material Models (vmm) For Crash Simulation Of Automotive Carbon Fiber Composite Structures - Cae Vs. Test Correlation

Vinay Virupaksha, Ph.D., General Motors

The objective of this Validation of Material Models (VMM) Project is to validate physics-based material models for crash simulation of primary load carrying automotive structures made of production-feasible carbon fiber composites. This will include the two Automotive Composites Consortium/USAMP-developed meso-scale models from the University of Michigan and Northwestern University, as well as existing composite material models in four major commercial FEA codes (LS-DYNA, RADIOSS, PAM-CRASH, ABAQUS). The models will be used to predict quasi-static and dynamic crash behavior of a vehicle front end sub-system made of carbon-fiber composites. The project goal is to validate the models for simulating crash of a lightweight carbon-fiber composite front bumper and crush can (FBCC) system. In order to do this, we are determining the crash behavior of a reference steel FBCC; designing, building, and crash testing a composite FBCC predicted to have equivalent crash behavior; and comparing the predictions with the physical crash tests. The crash performance of the composite FBCC should be equivalent to the steel FBCC under various crash-loading modes. The successful validation of these crash models will allow the use of lightweight carbon-fiber composites in automotive structures for significant mass savings.


Locally Reinforcing Carbon Fiber SMC with Unidirectional and Woven Carbon Fiber for Light-Weighting and Design Flexibility

Justin McClure, A. Schulman

In the fabrication of advanced composite structures there are an array of processes available. However, when part complexity increases, performance requirements are demanding, and higher volumes are essential, production options become more limited. Design engineers are enticed by placed fiber methods, such as prepreg molding or various approaches to resin transfer molding (RTM), but find that, even with recent advances, achieving out-of the-mold part finish and acceptable cycle times to support high volume production are elusive. Compression molding using random fiber SMC is well recognized to achieve rapid cycles and to achieve net shape parts including ribs and bosses that maximize function with minimal weight. A limiting factor is that potential knit lines associated with the flow of random fibers is a concern for structural integrity in demanding applications. This paper examines the co-molding of localized unidirectional reinforcement (UD) and woven mat reinforcement with random discontinuous carbon fiber using compression molded sheet molding compounds (CF-SMC). This approach allows designers and engineers unique flexibility in developing lighter weight components with tailored mechanical properties to endure highly demanding physical performance requirements. Compression molding is the process in which a charge or preform is weighed out to the exact amount required to fill the volume of a given tool of a matched metal mold. CF-SMC and UD reinforcement are molded under heat and high pressure to form complex parts with non-uniform nominal walls otherwise unattainable with other lightweight moldable materials such as injection molded thermoplastics. CF-SMC can replace forged and machined metal parts and be processed at lower overall manufacturing costs in higher volumes. CF-SMC competes with prepreg materials where higher volume and lower scrap rates are needed. CF-SMC unique ability to flow and fill ribs and bosses allows for design and manufacturability that prepregs are unable to accomplish without tedious hand labor, high risk for manufacturing defects, long cycle times and potential shear planes.


The Development Of Long Fiber-reinforced Thermoplastics (LFT) Composites For Structural Automotive Parts

Miok Jang, Research Engineer, Lotte Chemical (Korea)

This presentation describes the development of long fiber-reinforced thermoplastics (LFT) composites and the broadening range of applications. Beyond conventional injection molding, we developed the advanced LFT technology that combines material with molding analysis. For example, bumper back beam was newly designed to be manufactured from the injection molding process and replaced GMT and steel. The stiffer by profile-extrusion molding with LFT is developed and applied in structural automotive parts.


Coffee Break


Carbon Reinforced Nylons: Light Weight In Motion

Thilo Stier, Director Global Sales & Innovation, AKRO-PLASTIC GmbH (Germany)

The presentation will discuss the latest developments in carbon reinforced nylons that reaches now 45.000 MPa stiffness and more than 400 MPa flex strength with low density. Combined with the newest findings of metal adhesion together with our Partner Plasmatreat, we have new system ideas for the Tier1. The presentation will show how to meet stiffness and ductility at the same time meeting weight and cost targets.


Rapid Structural Bonding Of Dissimilar Lightweight Materials: Polyolefins, Composites And Metals

Dr. W.S. Gutowski (speaker), S.Li, C.Filippou, L.Russell, CSIRO, Future Manufacturing Flagship (Australia)

The automotive industry has successfully build lightweight vehicles with fuel-efficient engines in order to minimise fuel consumption and exhaust emissions in accordance with legal requirements. Consequently, low density metals such as aluminium, magnesium as well as polymers and fi­bre-reinforced composites come to the focus of car manufacturers.

Rapidly growing need for practical use of such diverse materials as metals, plastics and high-tech composite materials raises the issue of rapid bonding technologies which enable the use of new material combinations providing structural advantages for bonded components versus other joining methods.

Various alternatives of bonding techniques as well as commodity and specialty surface treatments methods including chemical, flame, corona discharge and plasma treatments are also discussed in this paper. We also demonstrate practical examples of the use of CSIRO processes for adhesion control in the automotive industry in specific applications currently in use by companies such as General Motors, Toyota, and Ford.


Intelligent Molecular Adhesive Systems for automotive components

Mikkel Kongsfelt, CEO, RadiSurf ApS (Denmark)

The strategy of molecular adhesives is to design a chemical interface between metal and plastic components to be joined, in such a smart way that it completely bridges the two materials. The result is an immensely strong bonding between the two materials – with only a few nanometers of adhesion – or bridging – layer.

The layer is applied through strong chemical bonds to the metal layer, allowing for direct overmolding of the plastic component, without destroying the adhesion layer. This is the future of molecular adhesive systems.

6:00pm - 7:00pm

Cheese & Wine Reception