New Thermoplastic Resins Provide Automotive Manufacturers with Design Advantages

SABIC Innovative Plastics has launched its latest high-tech thermoplastic offering - a new family of Noryl GTX* resins - to give global automotive OEMs and tiers a major design advantage.

These new conductive blends of polyamide (PA) and modified polyphenylene ether (PPE) cut coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) by 20 to 40 percent vs. previous grades for increased dimensional stability and improved gap and flush management, giving automotive designers greater freedom to create larger top-quality, high-precision body panels than previously feasible, and which integrate into existing processes, including higher-heat online painting systems.

These high-performance materials underscore SABIC Innovative Plastics' strategic focus on helping automotive customers create differentiated designs that also promote system cost reduction and sustainability through weight-out.

"This is a breakthrough in automotive design that promises to significantly expand the use of thermoplastic body panels," said V. Umamaheswaran (UV), director of products and marketing, SABIC Innovative Plastics, Automotive. "SABIC Innovative Plastics has given car designers the ability to leverage the multiple advantages of Noryl GTX resins in larger and more complex fenders and other body panels, with the assurance of outstanding aesthetics and performance. Now, even trucks and large SUVs can benefit from metal replacement with Noryl GTX resins, which deliver consistent dimensional stability for a high-precision result."

Higher Quality and Improved Aesthetics

SABIC Innovative Plastics has utilized new technology to ensure a low CTE and enhanced conductivity at higher temperatures while maintaining excellent mechanical properties, including impact strength. Noryl GTX 98 series of resins feature 20 percent less moisture uptake and post-heat shrinkage than previous grades, enabling large parts to maintain their tight tolerances even in bright sunlight and high humidity. Precise part alignment enhances overall quality and appearance. Another aesthetic benefit is the perception of robustness in a plastic part, resulting from a 50 percent improvement in stiffness over previous Noryl GTX grades.

In online painting, Noryl GTX 98 resin series delivers a 10C improvement in heat tolerance, making them compatible for higher-temperature online painting.

Greater Weight Savings Enhance Sustainability

By increasing the potential size of body panels, Noryl GTX resins can make an even greater contribution to vehicle weight-out, leading to reduced fuel consumption and emissions. According to the company's Sustainable Product Scorecard, verified by GreenOrder, a leading sustainability consulting firm, the use of the Noryl GTX 98 series of resins vs. steel in body panels can reduce the weight of a car by up to 3.2 kg (7 pounds) resulting in up to 40 percent less energy consumption and up to 42 percent less carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per part over its whole lifecycle.

To meet different CTE requirements (related to part length), SABIC Innovative Plastics will offer up to four different variations of the new resin technology. Currently, Noryl GTX 987 and 989 grades are available, with more planned in the near future.

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