PP Win in the next generation of electric cars

- Dec 21, 2019-

As the quality of electric vehicles improves, polypropylene (PP) suppliers are developing a range of material solutions to reduce vehicle weight and extend the range of electric vehicles, thereby reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

Applications include external and internal components, both structural and non-structural.

35. The JPG

Take the plastic tailgate.

According to Nicholas Kolesch, head of automotive marketing at nordchem, the metal structure and shell of a conventional c-class tailgate weighs about 16kg, compared with 12kg for the same fiberglass PP structure and PP TPO skin, a 25% savings.

In addition, the design freedom of thermoplastics over metal allows for functional integration of other tailgate components, including spoiler, antenna, and taillight.

Converting the front fender to the PP can also save 20-30% of the weight, as demonstrated by China's NIO ES8 SUV(below).

The next stage in a car's lightening could be to remodel the doors and roof.

Electric cars also bring new and unique applications to the PP, such as the front trunk lining in the tesla Model 3.

Despite the thermal requirements associated with electric vehicle powertrain applications, nord believes that flame retardant PP will continue to play an important role.

"We are working on a number of PP solutions to achieve V0 flame retardant battery systems, including structural applications to replace metals or engineering plastics," he said.

These include battery trays, battery holders, LIDS and some connecting elements."

PP also plays an important role in the lightweight of traditional internal combustion engine vehicles.

Here, nord chemical has developed a series of short Fibremod PP compounds for the front-end modules originally specified in polyamide (PA).

Pedal carrier and intake manifold applications have also demonstrated that the PP can also withstand pressure and heat.

For example, the intake manifold of the Renault B4D engine USES a PP compound that is 15 per cent lighter than the PA manifold and 20 per cent cheaper for the system, all with material properties independent of humidity.

At the same time, in terms of internal components, the trend is to reduce the talc load, thus providing a lower density of compounds, while still achieving the right sense of touch as well as scratch resistance and damage resistance.

"Some oems have even opted for pure PP, but these vehicles are reported to have low ratings in the JD Power survey, with parts that can't withstand wear and tear," says Kolesch.

An example of a successful use of the low talc PP is the skoda Scala's lower dashboard trim, glove box, and center console.

Nordic chemical's 10% talc filling grade has low emission, low atomization and low odor, and has excellent scratch resistance and zero viscosity.

Another lightweight tool in the Nordic chemical toolkit is the foaming PP.

The Daploy HMS resin has gained traction in the automotive space thanks to the contrast between lightweight and rigid components and its recyclability compared to alternative foam solutions such as crosslinked polyethylene (XLPE).

One application of this field is foamed automobile air duct.

In this application, Daploy HMS can be processed using blow molding and sheet extrusion.

The target density of Daploy HMS resin was 90% lower than that of hard PP.

Light weight combined with enhanced thermal and acoustic properties, while providing convenience and extensive recyclability, makes this material the resin of choice to drive the economic development of recycled plastics.