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Glass-free AZDEL VolcaLite composite from AZDEL helps combine formability, acoustic performance and improved incineration waste management for automotive headliner

AZDEL : 18 April, 2005  (Application Story)
A further advance in composite sheet performance from AZDEL, Inc. comes with the introduction of glass-free reinforced AZDEL VolcaLite composite.
A further advance in composite sheet performance from AZDEL, Inc. comes with the introduction of glass-free reinforced AZDEL VolcaLite composite which brings the added benefit of improved post-consumer incineration waste management in response to specific automotive industry needs. AZDEL VolcaLite composite is produced and distributed by AZDEL Inc., a 50/50 joint venture of GE Advanced Materials and PPG Industries established in 1986.

A new product technology, AZDEL VolcaLite composite is a low pressure, thermoformable thermoplastic composite of polypropylene and long chopped basalt fibre. An excellent candidate for automotive interior systems such as headliners, AZDEL VolcaLite composite offers excellent acoustic absorption properties, low coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE), a high strength-to-weight ratio and excellent ductility. Together with light weight, good dimensional stability and high impact resistance over a wide temperature range, AZDEL VolcaLite may help engineers to design components that may contribute to vehicle weight reduction, while complementing part performance or aesthetics.

As well as potentially making weight savings of up to 50% possible in some components, AZDEL VolcaLite composite may also deliver production advantages. In headliners for example, this versatile composite sheet can be moulded directly in one step together with fabric, thereby eliminating the separate production steps required with traditional materials to add functional layers. Moreover, because of its high strength-to-weight ratio, headliners can be constructed with ultra-thin profiles, down to 3 mm thick, less than half the thickness of conventional systems.

This combination of versatile performance properties makes AZDEL VolcaLite composite an outstanding material for pre-assembled modular headliners. It can enable an entire system to be mounted within a vehicle as a single assembly. Of key importance, its light weight and low pressure formability, often using existing tooling, means that AZDEL VolcaLite composite offers the possibility to reduce system cost by as much as 20%.

Furthermore, with its low weight, high stiffness-to-weight and ultra-thin profile (3mm to 5mm), AZDEL VolcaLite composite has the potential to extend its value beyond headliners to a range of non-structural interior panels and trims of varying thickness and stiffness. Better moisture resistance and lower emissions of volatiles and gasses than traditional materials, reinforces the concept of its potential use for interior applications.

AZDEL VolcaLite composite has been validated for headliner applications for incineration waste management and is available globally in four constructions and a range of GSM and sizes. Currently, AZDEL VolcaLite composite is under evaluation with a number of Tier 1 automotive suppliers.

AZDEL VolcaLite composite customers are provided with support in design, testing, moulding and prototyping to achieve excellent performance and weight reduction in automotive applications. Further information can be found at:

GEs Automotive Application Development Center in Southfield, Mich. U.S.A., and the European Design Center in Bergen op Zoom, The Netherlands, can help to provide the world's leading automotive manufacturers and tier suppliers with extensive technical support.

Expert staffs can assist with concept generation, complete pre-production consultancy, application and performance prediction, processing simulation, feasibility and cost studies, advanced processing capabilities, system solutions, and innovative automotive expertise.

Moreover, in the United States, GE Advanced Materials in collaboration with Fitch, Inc., leaders in industrial design, and GE Polymer Design Associates in Europe, can assist customers with a range of design and engineering services, or with helping to find an optimal solution to a specific task. This support covers a wide range of automotive disciplines styling, engineering design, CAD, finite element analysis, model and prototyping, tooling, testing and project management.
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