SABIC’s Innovative Plastics business today announced that Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) has chosen SABIC’s next-generation NORYL GTX™ 989 resin for the front fenders of its 2013 Outlander Sport crossover. The vehicle’s fenders are the first to be produced using 2-cavity injection molding with NORYL GTX resin, allowing MMC to cut cycle times in half and reduce tooling costs.
Other major benefits of the SABIC material include weight savings vs. steel for fuel economy gains and sustainability benefits and flexibility to design the first North American fenders with integrated pedestrian head impact absorption brackets. MMC’s adoption of NORYL GTX 989 resin to mass produce the fenders demonstrates the increasing value of NORYL™ and NORYL GTX resin technology to the automotive industry and its importance to customers as a solution to address diverse manufacturing and sustainability needs.
“Our close relationship and ongoing collaboration with SABIC were key factors in creating an outstanding front fender for the Outlander Sport,” said Masaki Tsugeno, executive vice president, Procurement and Supply, Mitsubishi Motors North America. “We look forward to working with SABIC for the life cycle of our vehicle to ensure that the Outlander Sport continues to exceed our customers’ expectations and gives them satisfaction in every way.”
“Mitsubishi Motors is the first automotive OEM to use the new NORYL GTX resin grade, which speaks to the progressiveness of the company with new strategies that multiply the performance and cost benefits of thermoplastic fenders,” said V. Umamaheswaran (UV), director of marketing, Automotive, Innovative Plastics. “By combining the performance enhancements of NORYL GTX 989 resin with the efficiency and speed of 2-cavity molding, Mitsubishi Motors has taken a major step forward in automotive fender innovation.”
Slashing Cycle Time, Boosting Performance
By adopting 2-cavity injection molding for the Outlander Sport’s front fender, which allows both the left and right fender components to be produced in one shot, MMC was able to largely cut cycle time. In addition, this approach significantly reduced capital costs because only one tool was created rather than two separate tools.
This application, the first automotive body panel using NORYL GTX 989 resin, leverages the improved mechanical performance of the material, which is a conductive blend of polyamide (PA) and modified polyphenylene ether (PPE). Compared to the previous grade, NORYL GTX 989 resin delivers a 10C improvement in heat tolerance, making it a candidate for use in higher-temperature online painting. The next-generation NORYL GTX 98X series materials also reduce the coefficient of linear thermal expansion (CLTE) by 10 percent vs. previous grades for increased dimensional stability and improved gap and flush management, giving automotive designers freedom to create larger, high-precision body panels.
MMC took full advantage of this enhanced design freedom to integrate energy-absorbing brackets into the fender to improve pedestrian protection. Validation studies indicated a head injury criterion (HIC) value for the NORYL GTX resin fender that was 25 percent lower than a comparable steel fender.
The use of NORYL GTX resin instead of steel for the Outlander Sport fenders reduced vehicle weight by 3 kg (approximately 7 pounds). This weight reduction is particularly important in view of the recently announced U.S. fuel economy rules, which essentially double the mileage requirement for OEM fleets. According to SABIC’s Sustainable Product Scorecard, verified by GreenOrder, a leading sustainability consulting firm, the use of the Noryl GTX 989 resin vs. steel in body panels can result in 45 percent less energy consumption and 47 percent less carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per fender over the vehicle’s whole lifecycle.
New NORYL GTX 989 resin is available globally.
For additional information on SABIC’s NORYL GTX resins, please go to www.sabic-ip.com.