Trinseo’s new ENLITE™ ABS LGF specified for major automotive collaboration
A lighter, more effective alternative to magnesium, Trinseo’s new long-glass-fiber-reinforced acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS LGF) is the subject of a new article in the March 2019 edition of "Kunststoff Magazin". The feature presents the feasibility of Trinseo’s ENLITE™ ABS LGF as a lighter-weight alternative to magnesium for the development of semi-structural automotive components.
Driving towards lighter materials
There are several reasons why automotive manufacturers are striving to reduce the overall weight of new vehicle builds. As electric vehicles become more popular, weight reductions must be made to compensate for the additional mass of the battery. In addition, carmakers have long understood the fuel efficiency benefits of lighter vehicles and the positive impact this has on the environment.
To meet demand for lighter vehicle builds, manufacturers are increasingly turning towards plastics as an alternative to magnesium and other metals for semi-structural components. Plastics offer a high level of design freedom and their excellent optical and haptic properties mean they are ideally suited to interior use.
A collaborative approach to material specification
The "Kunststoff Magazin" article gives a useful example of our ABS LGF in practice. It details the time an international automotive supplier asked us about an innovative plastic material solution for an instrument carrier, shortly after they had already opted for magnesium. The high dimensional stability and tight component tolerances of our ABS LGF prompted them to change their mind and proceed with the build using our solution, as opposed to magnesium. To achieve a high degree of construction rigidity, only a glass-fiber-reinforced polymer solution would be effective.
A 30% weight savings
Quality tests on our ABS LGF solution have proven that it offers up to 30 percent savings in weight when compared to magnesium. In contrast to systems using polyamide or polypropylene, it maintains its high form stability and creep resistance, even at high temperatures of up to 100 degrees Celsius. These properties make our ABS LGF particularly suitable for instrument carriers and other semi-structural applications.
This year’s VDI Plastics in Automotive Engineering (PIAE) Congress provided us with the ideal platform with which to launch our new lightweight ABS LGF. Together with supplier DRÄXLMAIER, we presented the material in a joint presentation entitled “30% weight savings and process improvement with a new ABS LGF Alloy material replacing metal for an instrument carrier, enabling a high dimensionally stable part.” The presentation not only introduced the material as a more effective lightweight choice over metal, it also highlighted how our new solution can enable several improvements in the manufacturing process. (See also our case study/related content: "The new ENLITE™ ABS LGF for lighter and dimensionally stable semi-structural components".)