High performance materials from Borealis have aided the FIAT 500 achieve a visually, highly differentiated small car for drivers. The 2008 Car of the Year uses polypropylene-based Daplen* thermoplastic olefins (TPO) from Borealis on its bumpers and dashboard to achieve the superior aesthetics and excellent performance of its parts that give the FIAT 500 the edge in the small car market.
To successfully realise FIAT's eye-catching concept of a large bumper with outstanding scratch resistance, a Class A smooth surface finish and good paintability, Borealis worked closely with parts moulder Ersi (Poland) and FIAT to find the ideal material solution.
The challenge was met with Daplen EE103AE, a high melt flow rate (MFR) TPO with excellent scratch resistance and the ability to achieve uniform thickness over a large surface area. Its low thermal expansion over a broad temperature range ensures consistent high quality for large, moulded parts and precise fitting to other exterior panels, further enhancing the overall visual impression. The dashboard specifications set by FIAT were particularly challenging. To keep a high level of aesthetic surface appeal and avoid visual defects, FIAT specified a mono-material solution for the 500's major interior parts.
Poland-based parts moulder Plastal chose Daplen EE103AE to meet requirements for excellent scratch resistance and low gloss, while also guaranteeing a consistent finish and high quality parts integration through the material's high dimensional stability and low thermal expansion. In addition, the excellent impact/stiffness ratio offered by Daplen EE103AE enhances vehicle safety.
Both bumper and dashboard benefit from the lightweight of polypropylene without compromising on performance of parts. Lighter weight components can contribute towards lower overall vehicle weight, resulting in reduced fuel consumption and less CO2 emissions. The FIAT 500 falls within the EU CO2 emission standard of 120g/km set to take effect from 2012.