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Application of Modified Plastics in Automobile Lightweighting


Modified plastics have better performance than general plastics in terms of flame retardancy, strength, impact resistance, toughness, etc., and have a wide range of downstream applications. Among them, the automotive industry has become the fastest growing field in demand for modified plastics. It is expected that the average annual growth rate of domestic demand for automotive modified plastics will be more than 15% in the next few years. This is mainly due to: first, the stable growth rate of global automobile production; second, the lightweighting of automobiles has increased the amount of modified plastics used in bicycles. The main applications of modified plastics in the field of automotive lightweighting are as follows:

At present, instrument panels mainly come in two forms: hard instrument panels and soft instrument panels. Soft instrument panels are generally used in relatively high-end cars, while buses, trucks and other models basically use hard instrument panels. Instrument panels are generally made of modified PP materials. Modified PP is mainly made of rubber-based toughening agents and inorganic filling materials; the instrument panel skin material is mainly PVC/ABS, and PVC has good impact resistance and heat resistance. Relatively weak, ABS has better mechanical properties and molding processing capabilities, and can be combined with PVC. Combining the two can complement each other.

Door inner panel
Currently, the more commonly used modified plastics for manufacturing door inner panels are ABS and PP, which are used to make a skeleton with a buffer layer on the surface. The buffer layer is made of PP foam, TPU, knitted polyester, etc. In some models of General Motors and Chevrolet, the frames and panels are made of glass fiber reinforced unsaturated polyester sheet molding compound (SMC). In some cars, natural fibers and PP are also made by hot pressing. This method can effectively reduce the weight of the door, reduce costs, and significantly improve the sound insulation performance.

Body panels and chassis
Modified plastics are used to make car body coverings. Compared with metal coverings, the car body is smoother, more precise in size, and can be more optimized in terms of quality, noise, vibration and other conditions. Therefore, modified plastics are used in roof covers, engine hoods, luggage compartments, etc. Covers and other aspects have been widely used.

In the automobile chassis, due to the large load that needs to be withstood, there are major problems in plasticization. At present, modified plastics, such as modified PBT, modified POM and other materials, are mainly used in wear-resistant moving parts of transmission suspension systems and steering braking systems.

Car bumpers are one of the main components using modified materials. Currently, most bumpers on the market are made of plastic products. The bumper panels are made of PP, PC/ABS, PC/PBT and other materials, and the skeleton is Materials such as wood or metal, the middle part is PP foam material, etc. This type of material is not conducive to recycling from an environmental point of view. After continuous innovation, TPO can be used when making bumper panels, the frame can be made of glass fiber reinforced PP material, and the middle part can be made of foamed PP. Materials with the same properties can be used to make bumpers. Just clean and dry it before recycling.

Fuel tank
Modified plastics also play an important role in making fuel tanks. Materials such as resin, adhesive, and PA can be mixed according to a certain proportion and then blow molded. In addition, fuel tanks can also be made from ultra-high molecular weight high-density polyethylene, copolymerized PA, EVOH resin and other materials.

Engine intake manifold
At present, modified plastics are mostly produced using the AIM process in the manufacture of engine intake manifolds. In some models of Chrysler and Cadillac engines, glass fiber reinforced PA is used in the intake manifolds.

The temperature in a car engine will continue to rise during operation, so the parts around the engine must withstand high temperatures of 220 degrees Celsius while maintaining ultra-high strength. If it is in relatively cold weather, they must also be able to withstand low temperatures. Therefore, PA66 material is generally used to ensure the performance of plastic parts.

Clutch actuation system
Because clutches often work in high-temperature environments and are affected by pressure lubricants, metal materials are used in traditional manufacturing processes. However, through continuous testing, the advantages of modified plastics for making clutch actuating systems are more obvious. When manufacturing clutch actuating systems Using 50% long fiber reinforced black nylon LFRT raw material, it has higher stability and saves costs.

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