Performance and Lightweight Thermoplastic Materials for Automotive Application using Hollow Microspheres
In recent decades, the weight of passenger vehicles has constantly increased. This leads to a rise in fuel consumption and higher CO2 emissions. On this basis, vehicle weight reduction is a privileged research axis to meet regulatory requirements on emissions by 2020. The current study is focused on the development of thermoplastic polymer used in the automotive sector. In fact, thermoplastic polymers allow innovative design and offer the advantage of being recycled for sustainable development purposes. Some lighter fillers were incorporated in this polymer by melt processing for weight saving benefits. We were interested mainly in hollow microspheres which are lower density than conventional mineral fillers (such as: talc, calcium carbonate, glass fibers etc ...). This study explores the impact of pilot-scale melt-processing on six (6) hollow microspheres embedded in high impact polypropylene commonly used for car bumpers. We found that two commercially available microspheres (grades iM30K and K37) withstand melt-processing successfully and reduce the polymer density.
A. S. Doumbia et al., "Performance and Lightweight Thermoplastic Materials for Automotive Application using Hollow Microspheres", Key Engineering Materials, Vols. 611-612, pp. 859-867, 2014