INJECTION MOULDING NEWS
Kia, Toyota and Mahindra aim for lighter vehicles
Germany-based automotive interiors supplier Johnson Controls is providing a 5.7 kg lighter system for the new Kia. Swiss Autoneum Holding and Nittoku Tokushu Toryo are collaborating with Toyota to develop interior systems for hybrid vehicles, while Sabic’s Noryl resin is used by India’s Mahindra in the country’s first moulded plastic fenders for its SUV.
Johnson says its seating, floor console and headliner system is “very lightweight in comparison to seats in current vehicles”, due to the use of light, high-strength, thinwall steel for the front and rear seats, replacing thickwall seat pipes. The Kia model, developed exclusively for the European market, is made in Kia’s plant in Zilina, Slovakia.
Meanwhile, Autoneum Holding, Nittoku Tokushu Toryo and Toyota will focus on car interiors, acoustics and thermal management. Interior system products will include headliners and door trim, carpet and dash silencers, damping, engine encapsulation and under-body solutions. The companies say that the key benefit to cooperating lies in the full systems approach to soundproofing technology.
In other news, Indian automotive manufacturer Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M), with support from its Tier 1 supplier Plastic Omnium, has developed India’s first injection moulded plastic fenders, which are featured on the new critically acclaimed global XUV500 sports utility vehicle (SUV).
Upgrading from steel to lightweight, online paintable Noryl GTX resin from Sabic Innovative Plastics helped Mahindra to improve the SUV’s fuel economy, reduce emissions, expand design freedom, and enhance resistance against minor impact. The use of Noryl GTX resin for the fenders helps make the global XUV500 one of the lightest SUVs in its class.
The biggest contributor to weight-out is the conversion of metal to Noryl GTX resin, a blend of PA and modified polyphenylene ether (MPPE), reducing the fender weight by 0.9 kg – a weight savings of 27%.