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Use of plastics in cars to grow by 75% in 2020
Industry experts predict that in 2020, the amount of plastic used in each car will reach 350 kilograms from 200 kilograms in 2014. At the same time, carbon fiber in the automobile manufacturing market will also show a three-fold increase. It is expected that by 2030, the use of carbon fiber in the automobile manufacturing industry will increase to 9,800 tons, compared with 3,400 tons in 2013.
Automobiles have led the rapid growth of the chemical industry. In the next 17 years, the output of automobiles will double again. According to the HIS automobile information survey, the total number of automobiles in 2003 was 56.9 million, and by 2020 this number will reach 56.9 million. 104.1 million, and most of this growth will be driven by the fast-growing Chinese market.
From a practical point of view, car manufacturers have begun to adopt new materials in order to reduce the weight of vehicles and meet the emission standards set by the government. For example, the American company average fuel economy standard (CAFE), which mandates automakers to reduce fuel consumption, and the European automobile road load and greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced by 30%, etc. This series of policies requires automobiles to adopt more advanced engines and transmissions. And hybrid technology, in which the use of carbon fiber and polymer and composite materials can reduce body weight by 25%-70%.
Composite materials have not yet accounted for "half of the country"
In most cases, mainstream car manufacturers will use traditional metal processing methods to reduce weight and produce cost-effective to improve competitiveness. On the premise of ensuring a safe supply chain and cost-effectiveness, manufacturers will make bolder adjustments - using composite materials.
Plastics have been in the automotive industry for some time. For example, polycarbonate glass has replaced ordinary glass. Almost every car on the road has a P headlight and PC/PMMA taillight. The next target for PCs is car windows, but cost and regulatory issues have limited the development of this material.
The use of PC material in the car window will bring more innovations, such as components can be integrated in the glass, the window/light/panel is integrated, making the overall style and price of the car change, maybe this will be a revolutionary Innovation.
Automotive glass and interiors Some automakers already use plastics or composites and are now looking to change the way for car exteriors, finding ways to use these materials in body panels, leading to more subtle developments.
What kind of material is still being explored
Carbon fiber has always been used to make the most high-end racing cars, that is, using carbon fiber to make body panels, including A-class exterior siding, door panels, instrument panels and sun hoods, to reduce the car's own weight, even if the high cost of carbon fiber hinders its development market.
As far as cost is concerned, the chemical industry has given the exact answer - foam, a mix of plastic and fiber composites, using standard extruded plastic and fiberglass sandwiched in a foam structure. The material can significantly reduce weight over the original, while maintaining structural integrity. Bayer MaterialScience exhibited this material at the 2013K exhibition, and the use of carbon fiber and polymers and composites can reduce weight by 25%-70%, and it is within the price range acceptable to manufacturers.
BASF has become a leader in the lightweight revolution. It has now proposed development solutions for impregnating resin fibers and in-depth optimization of lightweight structures in mold and plastic production. This material is already used in vehicles in everyday life. For example, this solution could be used in mass-produced vehicles, but today the technology only supports the replacement of auto parts. Experts predict that by 2020, these materials will bring conceptual breakthroughs and new designs by storm in the automotive industry.
Supply chain risk becomes a hindrance
While the future of new materials in the automotive industry is bright, there are significant potential risks to the supply chain. Composites and advanced plastics manufacturers operate with huge expense and a worldwide supply base. In addition, product reliability and reproducibility are critical, and while the profits are substantial, crude oil and raw materials can directly impact manufacturing. cost.
The production of raw materials with a small supply base can also be easily disrupted. For example, in 2011, a fire and explosion occurred in the polyamide plant of Evonik Industries Group, which caused the worldwide supply of polyamide raw materials to stop. This material is widely used in the automotive industry. , it took Evonik almost two years to regain the market.