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21st February 2019, Buriasco

Renolit takes off in automotive interior applications

Suzuki Vitara Rear Shelf in Renolit Tecnogor. © Renolit Composites

Suzuki Vitara rear shelf in Renolit Tecnogor. © Renolit Composites

Renolit Tecnogor, 100% recyclable, glass fibre reinforced polypropylene based composite material by Renolit Gor is gaining a leading position in the automotive interiors market with major OEM end customers.

“Tier 1 thermoformers have been able to combine superior part performance with consistent quality, higher productivity and lower costs of the production process, which has attracted the attention of many OEM automotive buyers,” the company reports.

“Leading German, Italian, French and Japanese carmakers are now using Renolit Tecnogor for a variety of thermoformed, custom coated, interior 3D trim parts for vehicles. Applications include parcel shelves, load floors, seat back covers, dashboard inserts and trunk trims.”

Versatile and lightweight

Renolit Tecnogor has proved to be a versatile, high quality, superior performance, lightweight thermoplastic composite sheet and roll material solution, which enables automotive trim parts to be cost effectively fabricated for a wide choice of interior finishes, the manufacturer explains. A key benefit for thermoformers using this PP/GF based substrate is said to be that it can be shaped in a ‘glue free’ one-step-process. It is also a very safe material to use on the shop floor compared with a glass fibre reinforcement fabric.

A finished part made of Renolit Tecnogor does not release any fibres. © Renolit Composites

A finished part made of Renolit Tecnogor does not release any fibres. © Renolit Composites

This is due to the glass fibres in Renolit Tecnogor being completely embedded in the PP polymer matrix during extrusion. As a result, there are no free-floating fibres in the air or exposed glass fibres in the moulding, producing safe to handle finished trim parts with smooth surfaces and edges. To reduce cut-off trim, custom sized Renolit Tecnogor blanks are typically provided, which are supplied as standard with a highly compatible film for thermally bonding textiles or other skin materials.

Characteristics

Automotive interior design engineers are able to take advantage of the mechanical properties of Renolit Tecnogor, which according to a published technical data sheet for the Type A grade, include:

  • Flexural Modulus (Norm I.S.O. 178) of L. ≥ 8200 N/mm2, T. ≥ 3200 N/mm2
  • Charpy Impact Strength (Norm I.S.O. 179) of L. ≥ 17 KJ/m², T. ≥ 15 KJ/m²
  • Heat Deflection Temperature, HDT (Norm I.S.O. 75A) of L. ≥ 145 °C, T. ≥ 120 °C

“The superior stiffness and impact performance in use of Renolit Tecnogor is thanks to the unique, patented, PP/GF composition and extrusion process used by the Renolit Composites production lines in Italy,” the company continues.

Customers are said to benefit from the added value technical support and process knowhow provided by the Renolit Composites team. “Our approach is to work closely with Tier 1 convertors and automotive OEMs, using our extensive knowledge and network to help customers to produce thermoformed parts at lower cost and higher productivity levels. We look for ways to achieve higher machine utilisation, to eliminate process steps, reduce changeovers and shorten production cycle times,” said Francesco Maffione, Sales Manager – Automotive Products for Renolit.

“We also get involved in new product development projects, providing rapid technical support, which includes supplying test material produced on our in-house prototyping thermoforming line.”

www.renolit-tecnogor.com

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