Increasing Popularity of Polymer Composites in Automotive

Increasing Popularity of Polymer Composites in Automotive

The automotive industry is one of the industries where invention and innovations are taking place rapidly. Part suppliers are usually directly or indirectly involved in the continuous research and development to beat up the rivals. There is one big change that is being experienced is the replacement of many metal components with the fibre components. The high-performance polymers are budget-friendly and standardized according to the automotive standards. As an example, carbon fibre reinforced composites are 50% lighter than conventional steel and 30% lighter than aluminium while retaining the strength properties on par with steel and aluminium, making them an attractive alternative for parts suppliers and manufacturers. 

Due to advancement in polymer technology, the fibre parts are delivering high performance and increases the fuel efficiency as they are lighter in weight. And, not to forget the durability, they are durable and cost-effective. The proposed laws for car emissions and another advantage of polymer compositions gave them an upper edge over metal components. This predicts a high rise in the exponential growth in the demand for polymer components. It has been assumed that by 2030, the automotive industry would be ready to adopt the polymer composites as a suitable option for metals. 
 
To match with the quality standards, laws of the automotive industry, and safety concerns, choosing the right material becomes a crucial task, that delivers the best performance while maintaining the quality. 
In order to evaluate the quality, laboratories need to roll out the acceptable standards and characterise the mechanical properties of the polymers.
 
Melt properties
The success of the whole production process depends on the choosing the right polymer. The melt and processability properties matter a lot. Here, MFI plays an important role to be chosen for the right extrusion process. It is defined as the rate of flow of molten plastic in 10 minutes (g/10minutes). 
Following ASTM D1238 and ISO 1133 standards, polymer producers and manufacturers can verify the quality of the product they receive from their supplier. According to these standards, the granulated plastic is heated in a barrel under a specified load and made to flow through a die (orifice). When a polymer has a low MFR, its material processability is deemed lower, while a higher MFR value represents easier processability. 
 
Presto’s melt flow tester is a standardised machine to check the melt flow rate of the polymers. Contact our experts for more information.