German plastic films manufacturer Renolit has developed a 100% recyclable glass fibre reinforced polypropylene for applications in automotive interiors.
Renolit Tecnogor is a “safe and clean” next-generation composite material which can be used for the production of parcel shelves, load floors, seat back covers and trunk trims.
The lightweight sheet and roll material is claimed to enable ‘cost-effective' manufacturing of trim parts, as the PP/GF-based substrate can be shaped in a “glue free” one-step process.
According to Renolit, the material is safer to use on the shop floor as compared with a glass fibre reinforcement fabric, as the glass fibres in Renolit Tecnogor are 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, making the finished trim parts safe to handle.
Among Tier 1 thermoformers, demand for the composite has soared because of benefits such as higher productivity, lower costs and consistent quality.
Leading German, Italian, French and Japanese carmakers are now using the material for “a variety of thermoformed, custom coated, interior 3D trim parts for vehicles,” Renolit said.
The material was developed by Renolit's composites team in Italy.
“Our approach is to work closely with Tier 1 convertors and automotive OEMs… to help customers to produce thermoformed parts at lower cost and higher productivity levels,” explained Francesco Maffione, sales manager – automotive products for Renolit.
“We look for ways to achieve higher machine utilisation, to eliminate process steps, reduce changeovers and shorten production cycle times,” Maffione concluded.