Ford's body panel application uses LyondellBasell's compounded PP resin

LyondellBasell Industries' Hifax TRC 280X compounded polypropylene (PP) resin is being used to produce the tailgate outer panel and the roof spoiler for the Kuga, Ford's new crossover model. It is the first time Ford in Europe has used an advanced polyolefin in a body panel application. The components are manufactured by German supplier Plastal GmbH. As per the company, the 30% talc-filled resin helped Kuga deliver significant weight savings and lowest-in-class CO2 emissions (169 g/km). Further, the compounded PP resin helped Ford meet its stringent metrics in terms of low thermal expansion, high stiffness and close integration with steel bodywork. The resin is said to give a far lower coefficient of linear thermal expansion (CLTE) of 4.5x10-5 mm/mm/°C compared to the standard PP resin and of many engineering thermoplastics. As against the standard PP resins which deliver a 1500MPa stiffness, the company claims Hifax TRC 280X gives a stiffness of 3000 MPa. In addition, the company says the compounded PP resin shows outstanding melt-flow characteristics (18 g/10 min) for a flawless surface quality for painting.
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