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DSM in Automotive

Chassis and structural parts: A ‘big’ opportunity

The chassis is a major part of the vehicle – and therefore represents a similarly major opportunity for manufacturers to make better, safer, lighter and more cost-efficient cars. Our next-generation thermoplastics replace traditional metals, some plastics and even rubber – and are applied by an expert team that truly understands the challenges and demands of customers.
Car chassis with welding robot in the foreground

From body plugs to major structural reinforcements in the chassis, we are making a difference to the industry by working side-by-side with OEM customers to develop customized solutions and lighter structural parts in an extremely complex and challenging application field.

It starts with understanding precisely how our materials behave in situ, which means extensive testing of parts featuring our materials, in crash conditions. For example, our Akulon® polyamide 6 and Arnitel® TPC (TPE-E) plastics have been proven to have better structural and mechanical properties than competitive materials.

The former is tough with excellent stiffness; the latter is perfect for rubber replacement thanks to its combination of strength and flexibility. In both cases they offer another very obvious benefit over metal: They don’t rust.

The future looks bright

When it comes to the chassis and structural parts, there is still huge potential out there to make drastic design improvements with all the financial and environmental benefits they bring – starting with significant weight reduction.

To put that into perspective, today plastics account for 12-14% of the average car. By 2020 we see that figure virtually doubling to 25%. What better place to start with future metal replacement than in the largest part of the vehicle?