Current situation and infinite space of innovative

2022-08-03
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Current situation of innovative application of automotive plastics and infinite space

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core tip: as the most important lightweight material for automobiles, modified plastics will play an important role in the automotive field. Let's take a look at

[China Packaging News] compared with traditional steel, automotive plastics have obvious advantages in lightweight, improving the freedom of modeling design and reducing costs. The use of plastics at non key structural parts can not only avoid the problem of improving the strength of plastic parts, but also obtain many advantages mentioned above. Over the years, the application of plastics in automobiles has been increasing. In the past 30 years, the plastic consumption of automobiles has risen from about 10kg in the early 1960s to 200kg in the early 21st century. The Asia Pacific region is the largest automotive plastics market, and its performance has always been concerned. At present, the use of plastic in various types of vehicles in China has reached 130 ~ 160kg per vehicle, which has been significantly improved compared with that in 2010 (70kg), but there is still a gap compared with the automobile powers, such as Germany (300kg), which also shows that there is still considerable room for progress in the Asia Pacific region

I. classification of plastic use areas

nowadays, the application of automotive plastics is mainly divided into three categories: functional structural parts, interior trim parts and exterior trim parts. They have different characteristics and use effects on plastic parts

functional structural parts: valve cover, cooling fan, fuel tank, radiator water chamber, oil pump housing, intake manifold, headlamp assembly, speedometer, wiring, battery, speaker

in functional structural parts, plastics can improve corrosion resistance, wear resistance, surface smoothness and weight reduction. For example, the engine intake manifold made of modified plastic and prepared by aim process has many advantages over traditional cast iron and aluminum parts. The weight is reduced by 40% and the inner wall is smooth, which is conducive to improving the intake air charge, good chemical resistance and effectively improving its service life

in addition, BMW has used glass fiber reinforced PP materials with a proportion of nearly 30% in the front-end component system of mini chassis vehicles, which can reduce the component quality by nearly 30% in addition to reducing the cost

interior trim: instrument panel, glove box, glove box, ashtray, steering wheel, pillar decoration, armrest, door, floor guard, glove box

for interior parts, plastics can reduce costs and improve environmental protection, comfort and safety. Due to the good inclusiveness of plastics, some brand doors will also be made of natural fiber and PP hot pressing, effectively reducing the weight, cost and sound insulation capacity of doors. In addition, the fiber can greatly improve the strength of the door inner panel, absorb energy through the self crushing of the material in the fierce collision, and protect the safety of the passengers in the car

the role of plastics in interior decoration is not limited to this. For example, excellent seats cannot be separated from comfort. Nowadays, soft PU molded foam is mostly used in the elastic shock absorption part of automobiles. Taking into account the characteristics of plastic easy to form, it can also increase the interior space if properly used, which directly contributed to the popularity of the integrated design of door inner panel and armrest

exterior trim: bumper, side impact strip, radiator grille, bumper, spoiler, fender, fender liner, door handle

on the exterior trim parts, plastic can reduce the vehicle weight, reduce the maintenance cost and improve the freedom of body modeling. The integrated plastic tailgate once became a hot trend. For example, the 1982 Citroen BX used BMC (unsaturated polyester group molding plastic) materials on the tailgate. Later, plastic tailgate was used in 1996 Volvo V70, 2002 megana II, 2007 horse model Zida 5, 2011 Peugeot 508 travel version, 2014 DS6, etc

in terms of the utilization rate of automobile plastics, the proportion of plastic parts in the total body weight of passenger cars is 8-12% on average, but the proportion applied to exterior trim parts only accounts for 1-2% of the total body weight, and the proportion of interior trim parts is the highest, about 5-8%. Therefore, in the general trend, the plasticization of exterior decorative parts and functional structural parts will become the key development direction in the next step. For example, the all plastic body structure adopting the rotational molding process can reduce the weight of the body by nearly 60%, which is beyond the reach of traditional materials and processes. It is high in the second hospital affiliated to the Medical College of Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, Zhejiang. However, due to insufficient strength, the all plastic body is mainly used in the field of low-speed electric vehicles

II. The plastic trend of automobile parts in the future

as far as the use of automotive plastics is concerned, it is far from saturation. For example, plastic bumpers alone account for about 42% of the total plastic consumption of automobiles, and the use of plastic front-end frames is only popular in recent years, almost blank in most places; On the other hand, China's industry has developed rapidly in recent years. So far, China has not even established relevant testing standards, which shows that the goal of diversified development is far from being achieved

in terms of material categories, polypropylene (32%), polyurethane (17%) and polyvinyl chloride (16%) account for about 66% of the total high-performance plastics for automobiles. There is still room for further improvement in the use of new automotive plastics

due to the high cost of carbon fiber materials, the current market opportunities for automotive plastics fall on the following new materials: polymethylmethacrylate, long glass fiber reinforced polypropylene, thermoplastic composites, ecological plastics or bioplastics

polymethylmethacrylate has the advantages of high transparency, low price and easy machining. It is a glass substitute material commonly used for UPVC pipe fittings for building drainage gb/t 5836.2 (9) 2. It is widely used in instrument parts and automobile lamps

long glass fiber reinforced polypropylene can be used in instrument panel, door module, front end module, tailgate and other internal and semi structural applications that need to balance dimensional stability, heat resistance and weight optimization

as we all know, ecological plastics or bioplastics have been one of the material industries with rapid development in the past decade. For example, the small interior of the fourth generation Mazda mx-5miata (2015) used self-developed biomaterials, and then CX-9 and other heavy models began to follow suit

Mazda is not the only one optimistic about biomaterials. For example, as early as the middle of 2016, Ford Motor Company successfully became the world's * automobile manufacturer that uses carbon dioxide as raw material, develops formulas and tests new foaming materials and plastic parts. The researchers predict that these new biomaterials will be officially used in Ford's mass production models in the next five years. According to the Research Report of BCC research company, this kind of products will reach about 6.1 million tons in 2020

III. new materials and new processes

apart from the material level, the modularization of plastic parts will be an important development direction in the future. The traditional front-end module is welded by nearly 20 steel plate stamping parts, so more than 50 sets of molds need to be developed. The front-end module is made of long glass fiber reinforced thermoplastic polypropylene, and more than 20 stamping parts can be effectively combined and integrated by using the molding technology. Only one set of molds need to be developed to complete the one-time forming of the whole product. It can not only achieve the goal of weight reduction, but also reduce the process complexity and cost

at present, the modular focus of plastic parts is mainly on the front-end module and door module. However, there is still room for further exploration, including instrument panel, front bumper assembly, rear bumper assembly, seats, chassis parts and powertrain module. For example, the instrument panel framework of most models is still made of steel, but some luxury models have begun to use modular plastic instrument panel framework

take BMW 2017mini countryman as an example. The panel framework of its instrument scope of application is made of long glass fiber plastic, which is 20% lighter than traditional materials. Through this breakthrough, BMW also won the 47th Annual automotive body interior category Innovation Award sponsored by the American Society of plastic Engineers (SPE)

modularization brings about the lean production mode, and the optimization of plastic structure is the icing on the cake. For example, in the thin-walled development of bumper, compared with the conventional 3.0mm wall thickness design, the 2.5mm wall thickness design (PP material) previously adopted by Geely can reduce the weight of a single piece by 20~15%

obviously, thin-walled products can further reduce the weight of finished products and improve the lightweight effect, but thin-walled products are easy to cause warpage and deformation, as well as difficult demoulding. Therefore, in addition to improving the process level, the improvement of material properties is also very important. As the most important lightweight material for automobile, modified plastics will play an important role in this field

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