Innovative materials powering future-oriented vehicles
Following on from the success of the Citroën C4 Cactus (launch: June 2014), automotive manufacturer PSA Peugeot Citroën installed the famous Airbump® on the new Citroën C3 (launch: Oct. 2016). This lateral panel is the result of perfect collaboration between REHAU and Trinseo; the German industrial group uses Trinseo's engineering resin PULSE™ GX50 to manufacture this door protection. This new car is manufactured in the PSA Peugeot Citroën plant in Trnava, CZ.
For almost 15 years the Citroën C3 series has been a very successful best-seller, with more than 3.5 million vehicles sold. With the all-new C3, Citroën is following the same strategy of renewal as already seen with the Citroën C4 Cactus and C4 Picasso. The new C3 is intended to support the fresh Citroën branding and attract customers with an innovative design focused on unique styling and enhanced interior comfort including future-oriented connectivity. In its first six months on the market, the new C3 has already sold 100,000 units, making it Citroën’s top-selling model.
Starting with 9 body colors, 3 different roof shades, and 4 interior moods, the car is highly customizable to users' style preferences. One of the most prominent design elements customers can choose when configuring their personal new C3 are the lateral Airbump® panels protecting the vehicle's bodywork from scratches and dents. The Airbump® top component consists of air-filled capsules made from tough polyurethane. The PC/ABS carrier element is produced with Trinseo's PULSE™ GX50, which provides the right properties for the innovative protection panels.
Great technical support and a material meeting all requirements
The material development within the Cactus project was a prime example of efficient innovation performance. For the C3 we were glad to collaborate with REHAU and our contact Philippe Haudry, Project Manager, Dept. AUTO Engineering Exterior 2. He appreciates the collaboration with Trinseo, too: "Trinseo's Application Engineering and Design Center (AEDC) could support us both in developing entirely new technologies and materials as well as in optimizing and reapplying existing ones." This success was the basis for the follow-up project, the Airbump® component for the Citroën C3.
Philippe also explains: "In addition to development support, it was the consistent quality and the right numbers of PULSETM GX50 that motivated us to use this PC/ABS for the new C3 Airbump® panels as well. The material succeeded in meeting our high requirements: lightest possible weight, consistent impact strength even at low temperatures, very high color consistency, form-fitting stability, high flow, and cost-efficiency."
Pascal Desjours, Trinseo ADE and our PSA contact in France, proudly reports: "REHAU used an innovative unique laser welding process to assemble the carrier element made from PULSE™ GX50 with the air-filled TPU capsules component. PULSE™ GX50 particularly provides the required uniform color consistency and the very good and stable light transparency for this manufacturing method." REHAU measured a transparency of 30 percent which is the best in this material category and outperforms the competition. Of course, PULSE™ GX50 also meets all PSA specifications in terms of heat resistance, stiffness, water absorption, shrinkage, and warpage.
For more technical details, read our previous case study on "PULSE™ GX50 in the Airbump®" (just click on the relevant content tile teaser).
You are also invited to contact Pascal Desjours, Sr. Application & Development Engineer, via firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about PULSE™, our technical capabilities, or the other highlights in our materials portfolio.
Philippe Haudry, Project Manager, REHAU Dept. AUTO Engineering Exterior 2, is available via email@example.com