Carbon Fiber-Reinforced Polypropylene Compounds
Borealis AG, Vienna, Austria, announces the extension of its Fibremod technology portfolio with carbon fiber-reinforced polypropylene grades. Fibremod Carbon fulfills the automotive market's requirement for engineering materials enabling lightweight construction while delivering high performance and excellent economic efficiency.
OEMs and Tiers continue to allocate a high proportion of their R&D budgets to develop new ideas for lightweight construction in high volume car production. Borealis took up this challenge and underpins its position as supplier of choice for the automotive industry by offering a differentiated solution. The use of carbon fiber leads to a significant increase in stiffness compared to traditional glass fibre construction. Fibremod Carbon compounds provide stiffness not seen before in polypropylene, reaching up to 20,000 MPa, combined with an extraordinarily low density. Fibremod Carbon outperforms even lightweight metals like aluminium or magnesium, leading to a lightweighting potential of more than 60 % compared to steel. In practice, this means that components can be developed with similar or even higher stiffness and lower weight. For structural parts, the geometry can be adapted to best utilize the gain in stiffness, resulting in further weight-saving potential.
According to the Borealis, the same weight reduction can be achieved with Fibremod Carbon as with leading materials such as magnesium or carbon fiber-reinforced polyamide, with the additional benefits of no contact corrosion, no moisture absorption and suitability for economic injection molding processes, while at the same time incurring only half of the costs compared to traditional materials. Compared to aluminum, the cost benefit is still significant; a comparison to PA6-GF30 shows neutral cost advantage, but a weight reduction potential of more than 30 %.
Three new grades will augment the current Fibremod portfolio:
- Fibremod CB201SY: a 20% carbon fiber-reinforced engineering PP boasting a maximized performance strength-to-weight saving ratio,
- Fibremod CB301SY: a 30% carbon fiber-reinforced engineering PP offering up to 40% weight saving potential when compared to other lightweight materials currently in use,
- Fibremod CB401SY: a 40% carbon fiber-einforced engineering PP providing ultra-high stiffness, thus enabling lighter weight, high-performance plastics applications.
These new grades are especially suited for applications such as chain adjusters, pump housings, headlamp housings, oil pans, seat frames, arm rests, gear shifting gates and sunroof frames. Also being explored are applications in structural parts in interiors, under-the-bonnet applications, and motorcycle parts.
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