In the ongoing search for new ways to reduce vehicle weight, automotive OEMs and tiers have been looking for a better alternative to steel, aluminum and thermosets for large, aerodynamic, horizontal body panels. Now, SABIC Innovative Plastics and Azdel, Inc. have launched their new hybrid thermoplastic composite grade, IXIS 157 composite, a continuous glass-fiber-reinforced sandwich composite for automotive horizontal body panels.
IXIS 157 composite is the first product launched using high performance thermoplastic composite (HPPC) technology - which won the 2007 Frost & Sullivan Excellence in Technology award - and provides critical advantages over traditional materials, starting with a 50 percent weight reduction compared to steel. By adopting IXIS thermoplastic composites, automakers can design cost-effective, lightweight and aerodynamic body panels that will help drive the success of fuel-efficient future models.
- Together with Azdel, we have made tremendous strides with IXIS composites, including the commercialization of our first grade aimed at off-line painting and the excellent progress toward an online paintable product - said Greg Adams, vice president, SABIC Innovative Plastics, Automotive. - We`ve leveraged our resources around the globe to develop the IXIS materials that have been featured on two of the most successful ?green` concept vehicles in the world: the Chevrolet Volt and the Hyundai QarmaQ. Our investment in these new technologies enables us to continue to provide innovative solutions to address the automotive industry`s environmental, performance and cost challenges.
The IXIS composite is composed of a random glass fiber reinforced core with a glass content (by weight) of approximately 50 percent, together with a 0?/90? skins of continuous unidirectional fiber reinforced thermoplastic. The skin material enables a Class A paint finish and dimensional stability, while the core material aids processing and reduces overall material costs.