New reinforcing fiber finds auto application in Japan


Synthetic mineral reinforcing fibers developed by Milliken (Spartanburg, SC) will debut this year in the rear tail gate of a 2013 model Japanese hatchback vehicle. Hyperform HPR-803i can replace talc in filled PP compounds, bringing density reductions and improved scratch resistance.

Global automakers continue in their endeavors to engineer mass out of their vehicles and Hyperform HPR-803i is one means of achieving this aim. A 30% talc-filled grade has a density of more than 1.2 whereas a 12% Hyperform-filled grade with the same flexural modulus of 3,300 MPa has a density of around 0.96. Parts containing the fiber are also easier to color than talc filled grades according to Milliken. Additional benefits are higher stiffness, better flexural modulus, higher impact strength, and improved heat deflection temperature.

Milliken estimates that the tailgate molded from a 20% talc-filled PP compound would weigh approximately 1.7 kg, and replacement with 9% Hyperform HPR-803i would reduce weight to 1.55 kg. "However, Japanese automakers are conservative and the formulation initially adopted will be 10% talc and 3% Hyperform, resulting in a weight of 1.6 kg."
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