BMW i8 features advanced polypropylene grades

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  • Mineral-filled PP grade for the BMW i8 front bumper
  • IP carrier made from long glass fibre reinforced PP grade
  • Borealis & Borouge at VDI-Plastics in Automotive Engineering conference

The companies Borealis and Borouge will showcase a new mineral-filled elastomer modified polypropylene (PP) compound at the upcoming 2015 VDI Mannheim. The Daplen PP grade is used for the front bumper of the electric sports car BMW i8.

Mineral-filled PP grade for the BMW i8 front bumper

Primerless painting systems address the need for greater economy and sustainability in automotive exterior applications by reducing cycle time and system costs. For the production of its top of-range electric sports car BMW i8, BMW required a lightweight bumper material that delivered on several key aspects in processability and manufacturing. Developed in close cooperation with BMW for use in the front bumper of the BMW i8, the new grade Daplen EE112AE allows the use of primerless paint systems for exterior plastic applications which fulfill the most demanding performance criteria.

Daplen EE112AE is a 12% mineral-filled elastomer modified polypropylene (PP) compound. It fulfills BMW’s extremely stringent paint adhesion quality requirements for primerless paint systems in their in-house manufacturing operation. Commercially launched in the last quarter of 2014, this grade provides easy processability as well as reduced density. And of particular importance, the good impact/stiffness balance provided by the material enables a low part weight.

BMW_i8_bumper_High Res_Borealis

Developed in cooperation with BMW for the front bumpter of the electric sports car BMW i8, Daplen EE112AE is an example of how material can contribute to leightweight construction in the automotive industry (source: Borealis)

 

IP carrier made from long glass fibre reinforced PP grade

Another advanced polypropylene grade, Fibremod GB215HP, is being used in the BMW i8 IP carrier. This 20% long glass fibre reinforced PP grade provides very good strength, high stiffness and good energy absorption in high speed deformation, thus very suitable to fulfill today’s stringent crash and impact requirements. Although not a new grade, Fibremod GB215HP helps support BMW’s own integral foaming injection moulding process, resulting in low warpage and very good dimensional stability.

Production start-up in Itatiba

The companies also announced the start-up of expanded production facilities in Itatiba, near Sao Paulo, Brazil. As of the end of last year, the mechanical completion of the Itatiba expansion had been completed, allowing for the testing of grades and start-up of production. The EUR 45 million investment involved the construction of an additional production building, two state-of-the-art PP compounding extruders, blending and raw material silos, warehouse facilities and a bagging line. This site produces the high-performance PP compounds which are in high demand for the South American operations of leading automotive manufacturers and Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs).

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