Product Announcement from 3M Advanced Materials Division

Need Help Meeting Greenhouse Gas Reduction Goals? -Image

Along with more aerodynamic designs and incremental improvements to internal combustion engines, one of the key strategies automakers are employing to meet efficiency targets is weight reduction.

Challenged by a major automotive OEM customer to find innovative ways to reduce parts weight without sacrificing mechanical or aesthetic properties, a leading global supplier of interior plastic trim components has achieved weight reductions of 5 - 13% in a number of their key components, by replacing conventional talc filler with 3M™ Glass Bubbles in a proprietary polypropylene compound.

Driven by increasing demands to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, automakers worldwide are in a race to find new ways for improving the fuel efficiency of passenger cars and light trucks.

Along with more aerodynamic designs and incremental improvements to internal combustion engines, one of the key strategies automakers are employing to meet efficiency targets is weight reduction. This has led to extensive research into new materials that are lighter in weight without compromising performance.

For example, automotive plastics have been extensively used for years to replace metal parts, shaving hundreds of pounds of weight from the average vehicle, compared to those of a generation ago. This represents a significant improvement: according to the U.S. Department of Energy, "...for every 10% of weight eliminated from a vehicle's total weight, fuel economy improves by 7%*."

Today, research is focusing on new, low-density plastics compounds that reduce part weight even further, while maintaining an acceptable balance of performance and processing characteristics.

Driven by increasing demands to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, automakers worldwide are in a race to find new ways for improving the fuel efficiency of passenger cars and light trucks.

Along with more aerodynamic designs and incremental improvements to internal combustion engines, one of the key strategies automakers are employing to meet efficiency targets is weight reduction. This has led to extensive research into new materials that are lighter in weight without compromising performance.

For example, automotive plastics have been extensively used for years to replace metal parts, shaving hundreds of pounds of weight from the average vehicle, compared to those of a generation ago. This represents a significant improvement: according to the U.S. Department of Energy, "...for every 10% of weight eliminated from a vehicle's total weight, fuel economy improves by 7%*."

Today, research is focusing on new, low-density plastics compounds that reduce part weight even further, while maintaining an acceptable balance of performance and processing characteristics.

Hanil E-Hwa selected 3M, manufacturer of 3M™ Glass Bubbles, to be a part of its material development team. 3M glass bubbles are high-strength, low-density additives that have been used by the automotive industry to reduce part weight and increase fuel efficiency since the 1970s.

 
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