The reason why industries have started to include plastic materials in their manufacturing processes is the lightweight feature of these materials, allowing a production of vehicles that are more fuel efficient. Just by reducing the weight of a vehicle with about 10 percent, for example, the fuel consumption will also decrease by at least 5 percent, which is certainly an aspect that cannot be neglected. Because of the environmental and economic climate deals with certain concerns, finding solutions to produce more fuel-efficient cars is certainly a priority for the automotive industry. Here are a few high-performance thermoplastics that have made their way into this particular market:
Polyurethane (PUR) – high-performance polymers
One of the most popular options in terms of plastics relevant for this type of industry is PUR. This type of material is elastomeric and is extremely used due to the beneficial characteristics it has. Its wide range of properties includes resistance to high temperature and abrasion, flexibility and most of all hardness. However, the toughness of the material can vary, depending on the usage role it needs to have. High temperature polyurethane is known for being resistant to numerous solvent, weather, radiation, oil and so on. This type of plastic is used for the manufacturing tires and wheels, and more exactly elastomeric ones, cushion, suspension bushing, foam seating and many more automotive parts.
Referred to as PC, Polycarbonate combines hardness with stiffness characteristics, is often used for applications such as headlamp lenses, bumpers and even substitutes for the traditional bulletproof glass. Its properties are various, the most attention-drawing ones being its thermal resistance, strength against impact, optical and electrical properties. The material also provides great weathering, which come as a strong plus.
Poly vinyl chloride
With impressive flexibility, and reasonable thermal stability, PVC has been adopted by the automotive industry for the designing of doors, vehicle pipes, panels and electrical cables sheathings. Its extremely low lead content propriety appeals to automotive manufacturers.
Being another one of the popular high temperature polymers, PP can be incorporated in an extensive selection of applications. What industries need to know about this material is that it is extremely durable against acids, bases, and solvents, which means it can be effectively used for the manufacturing of chemical vehicle tanks, gas car cans, and bumpers.
Advantages of using thermoplastics
The main reason why the automotive industry, as well as several others, have chosen to incorporated these types of plastics in their manufacturing processes are the following: the design freedom they provide, contributing to production innovation, building and integrating components in a flexible manner, the possibility of recycling, and of course economy.
These are only a few of the most used high-performance plastic in the automotive industry. Considering the advantages that high-performance thermoplastics have to offer, it is no wonder why big industries, such as this one, choose to work with them. Starting with polyurethane and up to polyamide, the variety of plastics available for use is quite extensive, each option coming with its own set of advantages and purposes.