Borouge and Borealis, the leading providers of innovative, value creating plastics solutions in the Middle East, Africa, Asia-Pacific and Europe, have delivered the foundation for a technological breakthrough to the automotive industry with the development of Daplen™ EF341AE used in the world’s first fully integrated fender module. The material, a thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) compound, has been specifically tailored to meet BMW’s exacting specifications for the new BMW X5 regarding improved production cost, safety, high quality aesthetics and environmental performance. The resulting TPO fender is the most complex and highly integrated, class A body application to be seen in production to date.
It is the first time that a fender consolidates such parts and functions as headlamp reinforcements and wheel housing, cleaning systems, airbag sensors, and cooling devices. With integrated functions, this step change in innovation provides a 50% lighter-weight alternative to traditional steel components.
Focus on pedestrian safety
The fender’s pedestrian protection absorber makes the new BMW X5 fulfil new EuroNCAP pedestrian safety regulations for 2010. In line with these regulations, the fender can deform up to 80mm on impact, reducing significantly the potential for major injury to a pedestrian in the event of a low-speed collision.
Daplen was also selected for its dimensional stability, which prevents warpage caused by expansion and contraction. It also creates an optimal design blend with the rest of the steel exterior body of the new BMW X5. It provides the smooth, high quality Class A surface appearance required.
Added to this, Daplen EF341AE meets Plastic Omnium’s specific requirements regarding offline painting and, as a ready to use material, ease of processing. Borealis provided mould design and process management support to the component manufacturer to facilitate production.
Hu Wei, Business Manager, Borouge’s Wire & Cable and Automotive & Appliances, and Regional Manager for North East Asia comments: "The creation of the first 100% plastic one-module fender is a breakthrough for the automotive industry. Such a lightweight, integrated solution impacts not only on ease of production and associated costs, but allows automotive manufacturers to raise pedestrian safety performance to new levels without affecting design or functionality."
The innovation is the product of a long term cooperation between Borouge and Borealis, component manufacturer Plastic Omnium Auto Exterior and the BMW Group. Borouge and Borealis’ contribution, Daplen EF341AE is a high-end 30% mineral filled TPO based on proprietary Borstar technology.
With an in depth understanding of the value chain and a focus on customer needs, Borouge and Borealis provide innovative, value creating polypropylene solutions with optimum performance for interior, exterior and under the bonnet automotive applications.