Whether it’s a hatchback, sedan or a high-end sports car, plastics have played a major role in revolutionizing the automobile industry. However, in the quest for developing lighter, safer and fuel-efficient vehicles, automobile manufacturers are now opting for durable and lightweight plastics. Let’s have a look at the benefits of advanced plastics in automobiles and the role they play in making our lives convenient.
1. Less Weight
Researchers have now found a way to make lightweight vehicles with syntactic foams. These foams are made of plastic, infused with hollow microspheres that are extremely strong and lightweight.
Reinforced carbon fiber is another type of plastic that is known for its strength and is making its way into use for automobiles. Made of carbon atoms, ultra-thin carbon fibers are combined with plastic and are used in spoilers, hoods, and roofs. Not only does this significantly reduces weight, but also makes the vehicle leaner and faster.
2.More Fuel Efficient
Current regulations state that by 2023, vehicles need to achieve the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standard of 4.77litre/100km, a slight but significant dip compared to 5.2litre/100km to this year. This deadline has now prompted auto manufacturers to employ multiple means to make vehicles more fuel-efficient.
Research also shows that for every 10 percent reduction in vehicle’s weight, it improves fuel efficiency by 6 to 8 percent. Manufacturers are now testing and incorporating more advanced plastic materials into the manufacturing process so as to reduce weight and make the vehicles more fuel efficient.
Plastic materials play a crucial role in protecting us while driving our vehicles. For instance, bumpers are made of polycarbonates and absorb four to five times of energy during impact. In addition, the seatbelts and airbags that make our cars safe are made of high-strength polyamides.
Now speaking about windshields, did you know that they are shatterproof? Thanks to the thin layer of plastic such as PVB that is sandwiched between two layers of glass. This makes them lighter and stronger.
For more than half a century, plastics have enabled automobile manufacturers to make lives more convenient and create amazing new technologies. So as long as there is plastic, the innovations in automobiles are only limited to our imagination! If you are in the automobile industry, then Plastivision is a great platform for you to discover plastic products to help boost your business.