FOCUS ON PLASTICS – AUTOMOTIVE
This focus on the use of plastics in the automotive sector is not just about this industry. The automotive industry is at the forefront of polymer development. Firstly because there is a need to reduce vehicle weight to improve fuel consumption and reduce emissions. Secondly, because of its highly competitive nature requiring constant efforts to reduce costs and introduce innovative design.
The high volume of vehicles manufactured makes the automotive industry attractive to the polymer manufacturers. As a result, they are prepared to invest in the necessary research to develop new polymer grades to meet the exacting demands.
The purpose of this article is to illustrate some of the areas where plastic materials are used – often in demanding or innovative applications. From this it will be possible to appreciate the potential for polymers in other industries and applications. This is only an overview to demonstrate the capabilities of polymers, more detailed information on specific applications and the properties of these materials can be found on the various polymer manufacturers websites, e.g. DuPont and Celanese.
Let us take a look at each area of a vehicle in turn.