The era of internal combustion engines as a single power source is coming to an end, indicating a transformation that makes vehicles cleaner, and to get there, engineering plastics capable of meeting extreme challenges are needed. Internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles are still being manufactured, but the days of mass producing these vehicles are limited. Yet automotive companies still need to focus on how to best lightweight ICE vehicles while focusing on research and technology for hybrids, EVs and autonomous vehicles.
Our portfolio of tough yet lightweight plastics are enabling manufacturers to produce automotive components that are extremely light, reduce engine friction, and can operate in environments at high temperatures. Thus, more metal parts are being converted to plastics, which leads to reduced emissions, as well as system costs. Besides the reduction in emissions and costs, there are other drivers for lightweighting vehicles, such as design flexibility; resistance to corrosion, chemicals and the environment; improved friction and wear; noise reduction; and electrical and thermal insulation.
At our booth, a demo structural part made of ForTii Ace MX53T will be showcased. The ForTii Ace MX53T grade is a PPA material based on our patented PA4T technology. It has a high glass transition temperature of 150°C and excellent chemical resistance, making it an ideal material for use in structural automotive parts and thermal management in under-the-hood applications.
Also showcased are DSM’s unidirectional tape (UD tape) solutions. UD tapes offer extreme lightweight alternatives to metals in automotive applications like door panels, wheel rims and central floors. Our strategy extends beyond just manufacturing the composite tapes—we develop and specify processes such as Automatic Tape Placement (ATP), tape winding and tape-insert over-molding. and the necessary computer aided engineering (CAE) for part design and manufacturing process specifications.