Sabic Materials Contribute to BMW's Winning of SPE Automotive Innovation Award
The instrument panel carrier of the 2017 Mini Countryman from BMW Group is this year’s winner in the Body Interior category of the Automotive Innovation Awards, an annual competition now in its 47th year and run by the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE). An innovative process combined with lightweight-enabling materials from Sabic helps reduce the part’s weight by about 15 percent versus a comparable solid plastic component.
The injection molded part uses a high flow concentrate long glass-fiber-reinforced polypropylene (LGFPP) material (Stamax resin) from Sabic and a dedicated masterbatch solution in a structural foaming process with core-back technology. In this approach, the material injects into and completely fills the mold. The mold then opens to allow for foaming on the core side of the mold. This foaming part of the core-back technique increases the wall thickness of the part from 1.9 mm to 4 mm. This delivers the required strength and rigidity characteristics without adding weight. This foamed solution with Stamax resin also typically requires less material during processing and enables shorter cycle times.
Sabic performed extensive CAE warpage analysis to predict warpage behavior of the part. This evaluation, early in the development process, provided valuable insights for the design of both the part and the mold, which enabled building the mold correctly the first time.
The Tier 1 supplier on this program is International Automotive Components (IAC) Group. The toolmaker is Siebenwurst.
SABIC Saudi Basic Industries Corporation
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