Light weight composites for the global automotive industry

To meet increasing demand from the automotive industry for lightweight, high performance long-glass-fiber (LGF) composites, SABIC Innovative Plastics and SABIC PP Automotive has announced the worldwide availability of SABIC® STAMAX polypropylene (PP) LGF resins. STAMAX resins, which are used extensively by European automakers to replace steel in such key components as front-end modules and door modules, offer light weight solutions for improved fuel efficiency and emissions reduction, together with system cost savings through design optimization and more efficient production cycles. To support the global distribution of SABIC® STAMAX resin, the company is making plans to expand its production of the material in North America in 2009, and in Asia/Pacific from 2010. SABIC's commitment to meeting capacity needs, coupled with world-class application development expertise in the SABIC Innovative Plastics and SABIC PP Automotive businesses, enables the companies to provide automotive customers with innovative modular solutions and outstanding technical support. As per Greg Adams, vice president, SABIC Innovative Plastics, Automotive. "Our planned global expansion of SABIC® STAMAX production supports our strategy of delivering innovative material solutions to help automakers deliver more environmentally responsible vehicles without compromising on design freedom." SABIC® STAMAX LGF PP resins are enabling automakers to advance from traditional multi-part steel doors, front-end systems and instrument panel carriers to single modules. These resins offer expanded design flexibility for part consolidation as well as key performance properties, including high stiffness, dimensional stability, high flow and good crash behavior. In addition the flow characteristics of SABIC® STAMAX resins allow for thinner wall instrument panel carriers compared to traditional materials like modified styrene-co-maleic anhydride (SMA) and polycarbonate/acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (PC/ABS). Thin wall molding provides for both cost and weight advantages to the OEM. As a result, designers can create single modules to replace complex assemblies, thus streamlining production and reducing system costs. Further, SABIC® lightweight PP LGF resin drives weight-out vs. steel, helping to increase fuel efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. "Modularity in automotive part design continues to gain strong momentum as OEMs and tiers seek to optimize fuel efficiency, reduce emissions and control costs," said Mark Neville, business unit director, SABIC PP Automotive. "SABIC Innovative Plastics and SABIC PP Automotive are world leaders in developing long-glass-fiber resins and composites that are materials of choice for modular automotive components. By leveraging the STAMAX resin portfolio, automakers in all geographies now have a more comprehensive set of options for production of modular systems."
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