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One-material automotive solution from Borealis awarded prize by Society of Plastics Engineers

Borealis A/S : 27 December, 2006  (Company News)
Borealis, the leading provider of innovative plastics solutions, and the BMW Group, manufacturer of premium automobiles and motorcycles, have developed a new material and testing solution for BMW instrument panel carriers.
This innovation will help to reduce system costs and development lead times for future models and has, as a result, been awarded a second prize in the Society of Plastics Engineers’ 10th Automotive Division Award 2006 in the category body interior.

The new grade called Nepol GB215HP has been developed to achieve a one-material solution for the upper, middle and lower part of dashboard carriers. The customised 20% long glass fibre reinforced polypropylene compound meets a number of characteristics specified by BMW.

Nepol’s outstanding mechanical properties deliver the high stiffness and dimensional stability required to fulfil functional requirements in the finished interiors. In addition, its properties provide energy absorption to the part, preventing splintering at heavy impact and improving the safety of passengers.

Further advantages of the solution include low emission to reduce windscreen fogging and long-term heat stabilisation to prevent material ageing.

In order to make it suitable for BMW’s proprietary SGI-foam injection moulding technology, Borealis tailored the PP to enable foaming. This technology produces very lightweight parts with a well defined cellular structure, resulting in environmental benefits thanks to weight reduction and ensures the long-term maintenance of the interior’s performance and aesthetics for consumers. The resulting benefits are high stiffness and load bearing at low weights and with low warpage.

In addition to providing the material solution, Borealis developed new software to connect with BMW`s computer-aided engineering and design system in order to simulate the behaviour of SGI components without requiring the presence of a physical part. This method for predicting the behaviour of parts results in a reduction in development time and costs.

Franz Zängerl, New Business Development Manager Europe, Borealis adds: “The ‘one material solution’ and new testing system for BMW reinforce Borealis’ commitment to long-term investment in supporting customers to meet the manufacturing, performance and environmental challenges of the future. We are delighted to see these joint developments recognised by the Society of Plastics Engineers.”

With an in depth understanding of the value chain and a focus on customer needs, Borealis continues to provide innovative, value creating polypropylene solutions with optimum performance for interior, exterior and under the bonnet automotive applications.
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