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12-02-2011

Trexel: SPE Automotive Award for Use of MuCell Process

Ford’s award-winning instrument panel

Ford’s award-winning instrument panel

The Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) awarded Ford’s use of the MuCell process the Grand Award at the association’s 41st Auto Innovation Awards Competition. The instrument panel was originally entered in the Process/Assembly/Enabling Technologies category. By creating the instrument panel structure for the new Ford Escape in microcellular foam, weight is reduced more than 1 lb, mechanical properties are improved, molding cycle time is reduced 15%, and molding clamp tonnage is reduced 45%, saving an estimated USD 3 per vehicle vs. solid injection molding.

This is the largest automotive component molded using the MuCell process and the first instrument panel to be molded in this process. The MuCell process has already been used successfully in Ford vehicles in Europe for valve covers, along with heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.

The MuCell process is slated for use in the production of instrument panels, along with other applications, in future Ford vehicles beginning next year following its debut in the new Escape. The brand new SUV has 11 new exclusive features and fuel economy projected to top any vehicle of its kind on the market today.

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