Lincolnshire-based technical plastics company Luxus has developed a new light weight polymer that could help the automotive sector meet its CO2 targets.
The new lightweight polypropylene (PP) compound will reduce the weight of an average car, resulting in greater fuel efficiency. Luxus predict that mmanufacturers will be able to achieve a typical weight reduction of 20kg per car.
The new PP compound will enable Luxus to produce lighter vehicle components. Developed to replace the standard talc-filled grades for car interior components, it offers a reduced filler content of 10%, down from an average of 25%.
Luxus is predicting that their development will aid car manufacturers in meeting European Commission targets, potentially reducing CO2 emissions by 520k tonnes per year. These figures are based upon figures for the average family car and the amount of new cars registered in Europe each year.
The current goal of the European Commission is to improve fuel efficiency standards by cutting average emissions from new vehicles from their current level of around 160g/km of CO2 per kilometre to 130g/km by 2012.
The development appears to be a positive move for automotive manufacturing, as European targets mean that those who fail to meet them will be required to pay an excess emissions premiums fine.
Peter Atterby, managing director at Luxus commented: “The impact of EU legislation together with the need for lower costs and improve performance has prompted us to develop a new highly innovative compound able to satisfy the rigorous demands of the automotive industry.”
Explaining how the new compound will help to meet these demands, Atterby said: “This is why following comprehensive testing at our polymer development technical centre, we have formulated this new lighter weight compound that has the potential to ease the burden on the industry – but still offers the quality and performance our customers have come to expect.”