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News

New concept car uses ethylene propylene copolymer lightweight material

JSP : 06 May, 2013  (Application Story)
An innovative eco concept car from Toyota and Studio Massaud is using the ethylene propylene copolymer Arpro, a specialist lightweight material from JSP.

The ME.WE concept car has been developed in partnership between Toyota and visionary creative designer and architect, Jean-Marie Massaud. Compact, efficient and stylish, the objective of the ME.WE reflects Massaud’s creative ethos, to “offer style that is economic and virtuous”. Ambitious in scope, the design combines the latest technologies to offer an attractive yet practical vehicle that answers some of the current economic and environmental challenges.

Arpro has been used in automotive applications for several years, from passive safety products such as side impact energy absorbers in door panels, head restraints and seat cores, seating and knee protection, to stowage applications. Here, the exceptional strength to weight ratio enables storage of tool kits, boot liners, load floors and console components.

For the first time, Arpro has been selected not only for its structural properties but for its visual appeal. There re five key benefits:

  • Lightweight: Arpro is a lightweight material and can offer significant weight savings. Comparing the ME.WE with a traditional car of the same size, the use of Arpro for the body panels means overall weight is reduced by 20%. This has a considerable impact on the energy efficiency of the vehicle.
  • Safe: Arpro is commonly used in automotive applications because of its safety advantages for impact protection. It feature a combination of physical properties which allow it to be compressed and absorb significant energy without failing – not just once but on multiple occasions – while being able to reliably and consistently withstand impacts from different directions. The ME.WE utilises Arpro in the side panels and for the bumper of the vehicle, specifically for impact protection benefits, making it safer for the driver, passengers, other road users and pedestrians. The lightweight material offers enhanced protection on impact compared to metal or injection-moulded plastics, which are significantly heavier.
  • Resilient: along with the impact protection benefits, the structure of Arpro makes it a ‘clean’ material that is resistant to chemicals and liquids, making it easier to maintain, while promoting a cleaner, safer vehicle environment.
  • Freedom of shape: the flexibility of Arpro means that it can be easily moulded into any 3D shape. This is a benefit to the ME.WE design by making it customisable – it can be a pickup, convertible, off-roader and small city car all in one, while still enabling Toyota ease of assembly and component consolidation. The exterior surface aesthetic of the ME.WE is integral to the Arpro panel; something that has not been done before, enabling the final vehicle design to be customised.
  • Environment: Arpro is 100% recyclable.
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