By European Plastics News staff
A project involving injection moulder Mecaplast and other companies based in France is seeking to commercialise a new technology for producing foamed polypropylene parts for automotive interior and exterior trim.
Mecaplast, headquartered in Monaco, said it has patented the process, which relies on a combination of moving mould cores, a chemical blowing agent, and lightweight reinforcing fillers. The technology can cut the weight of interior and exterior trim parts by between 30 and 50 percent, it said.
The project to industrialise the process is sponsored by the French government and is called Plume (meaning "feather" in French). The two-year project starts in September and will have a total budget of Euro 2.4 million.
Elsa Germain, research and innovation engineer at Mecaplast, said: "Incorporation of parts made by the Plume process could lead to a total vehicle weight reduction of between 5kg and 7 kg. This will have an important knock-on effect on fuel consumption, with resulting carbon dioxide emissions falling by around 0.5-0.7g/km."
Sumika Polymer Compounds, part of Sumitomo Chemical Group company, will partner Mecaplast from its base in Saint-Martin de Crau, France.
The full version of this story first appeared in our sister publication, European Plastics News.