Reducing Weight in Automotive Parts

Car interior

The Challenge

In collaboration with a leading German car producer, Avient was requested to reduce a dashboard carrier’s weight while keeping part performance and mechanical properties. The project was a key driver in the automaker’s effort to reduce vehicle weight, improve fuel economy and fulfill emission reduction targets.

The Solution

With non-hazardous Hydrocerol™ Chemical Foaming Agents (CFA) Avient helped the customer achieve their sustainability targets through significant energy savings in production and finished part weight reduction. Hydrocerol improved productivity up to 20% due to lower cycle times and processability on different injection molding units. Using Hydrocerol with core-back molding technology, a process in which the mold is opened slightly to further reduce pressure and allow the foam core to expand, Avient helped the customer leverage density reduction to lower finished part weight. Added during processing, Hydrocerol is heat activated and releases gas to form a cellular foam structure, keeping the outer skin solid without voids.

The Impact

Weight reduction is important to meet the stringent emission reduction targets. Every saved pound contributes to lower fuel consumption and cuts CO2 emissions. Hydrocerol plays a critical role in an Avient-wide program to support a sustainable plastics industry. The car producer reduced the dashboard weight by 20% and improved the part bending strength, thus enhancing the vehicle safety in case of a collision. Hydrocerol is also used in other automotive applications as air ducts, wheel covers and other structural parts.