High-Tech Plastics Streamline Innovative Expansion in the Automotive Industry
Automotive plastics are materials used to produce automobile components like electrical, glazing, interior & exterior furnishings. The automotive Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) utilize plastics owing to several benefits particularly, lightweight property, corrosion resistance, and scope for flexible innovations. The rising usages and technological developments in the material led to the growth of the automotive plastics market, flourishing with a CAGR of 9.78% from 2019 to 2027.
As a result of the growing environmental concerns, stringent carbon emissions norms and demand for lightweight & fuel-efficient vehicles, the high-performance plastics are highly adopted in the automotive industry as it meets higher requirements than standard plastics.
Applications of High-Performance Polymers in the Automobile Sectors:
1. Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS)
ABS is chemical & impact-resistant plastic manufactured using suspension, emulsion, and mass processes. It is used in automotive bumper cars, electric components, dashboards, and wheel covers. Also, due to its high insulation property, it is utilized in other sectors like electronics, aerospace, and medical sectors.
2. Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
PVC has rigid and flexible variants and is flame retardant with excellent thermal stability and less lead content. Its major automotive applications are underbody coatings, sealants & floor modules, wire harnesses, and exterior parts. Other sectors utilizing the polymer are construction, electrical, and plumbing.
3. Polymethyl Methacrylate (PMMA)
PMMA is a transparent, rigid thermoplastic and a cheaper alternative for Polycarbonate. As it is lightweight and shatter-proof, it is used as a substitute for glass. PMMA has varied applications in automotive parts such as windows, screens, and displays. Also, it has utilization in sectors, namely construction, sanitary ware, and lighting fixtures.
4. Polypropylene (PP)
PP is a semi-rigid, translucent polymer with good chemical & electrical resistance at high temperatures. Its automotive applications include bumpers, cable insulation, and carpet fibers. Along with the automotive industry, it has applications in packaging, consumer products, and electronics owing to its lightweight.
5. Polyethylene (PE)
PE is a rigid, high-impact strength plastic with excellent chemical resistance. It is widely used in the automobile sector for car bodies and electrical insulation.
6. Polyamides (PA)
PA occurs both naturally as well as artificially, and the synthetic PA is known as Nylon. It has high impact strength and abrasion resistance with high durability. Its applications range from gears, bearings to weatherproof coatings.
7. Polyurethane (PU)
PU product has high tensile strength, hardness, and abrasive resistance. It is lightweight and used in interior furnishing, foams, seat cushioning, and hard plastic parts.
8. Polycarbonate (PC)
PC is a polymer that offers a combination of stiffness, toughness, and hardness with high impact strength. It is used in automotive bumpers, bulletproof substitutes, and helmets.
9. Polyoxymethylene (POM)
POM has properties like stiffness, rigidity, chemical resistance, and yield strength. It has applications in gears, fuel systems, and interior & exterior trims. Also, it is highly utilized in electrical and electronic components due to its high insulation properties.
10. Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET)
PET is the most common thermoplastic polymer resin of the polyester family. It is mostly used in the production of synthetic fibers. Its automotive applications are wiper arm, engine cover, headlamp retainer, and gear housing.
Thus, the high adoption and applications of high-performance plastics elevate the growth of the automotive plastics market, despite the challenges of geopolitical turmoil, volatility of raw materials, and environmental concerns.