The importance of high-performance plastics in the automobile industry cannot be emphasized enough. These types of plastics are light-weight, corrosion-resistant, can withstand high temperatures, be molded into desired design, have the ability to curtail fuel consumption and allow for longer automobile life. What’s more, they are recyclable!
Here we have listed top 8 high-performance plastics used in automotive manufacturing:
1. Polypropylene (PP)
Polypropylene (PP) is a thermoplastic, used in a wide variety of applications owing to its high-temperature resistance properties. It has almost substituted steel in the automobile industry because of its affordability and versatility. PP is used to make automotive bumpers, carpet fibers, and gas cans.
2. Polyurethane (PUR)
PUR has some amazing elastomeric properties – it can be used to make a part that is as soft as an eraser or as hard as a bowling ball! It has high load-bearing properties, is fuel efficient, lowers carbon dioxide emissions and resistant to oil and gasoline. It finds its applications in foam panels, cushions, hard plastic parts, foam seating etc.
3. Poly-Vinyl Chloride (PVC)
PVC is a flexible plastic that is flame retardant and offers impressive thermal stability. It can be blow moulded, injection moulded or compression moulded to produce a variety of automotive parts. It is used to make electrical cables, doors etc.
4. Polystyrene (PS)
Polystyrene is naturally clear and exhibits remarkable chemical and electrical resistance properties. A wide variety of applications like equipment housings, buttons, car fittings and display bases are made using this polymer.
5. Polyethylene (PE)
It exhibits good toughness and is used in various thermoplastic processing methods. It is low cost and generally used in electrical insulation and car bodies.
This copolymer is made by copolymerizing styrene and acrylonitrile using polybutadiene. It provides resilience at low temperatures, is heat and impact resistance. It is used to make dashboards, wheel covers, and automotive body parts.
7. Polyamide (PA)
It has good mechanical properties and swells in watery environments. PA is widely used in making of gears, bushes, cams, weatherproof coatings and bearings.
This amorphous polycarbonate polymer has an extraordinary strength and excellent electrical and thermal properties. Due to its extraordinary strength, it is used in making car bumpers, helmets, headlamp lenses and as bullet-proof glass substitutes.
These high-performance plastics contribute to almost 66% plastics used in the automotive manufacturing. With the increasing emphasis on lightweight and fuel-efficient plastics, there’s no doubt that the high-performance plastics market will grow at a significant rate in the near future!