Issue: Jul 2012


SABIC to Increase STAMAX* LGFPP Capacity at Genk, Belgium Facility to Meet Rising Automotive Demands



by James Hilton

SABIC’s Innovative Plastics business announced that it is significantly boosting capacity for its STAMAX* long glass fiber-filled polypropylene (LGFPP) composite resins at its manufacturing facility in Genk, Belgium, to meet rapidly growing demand from automotive customers. Last month, the company began work on a new production line – slated to open in the second half of 2013 – to further its ability to provide a secure and reliable local supply of this high-performance SABIC material. STAMAX LGFPP composite resins give customers a robust combination of properties, while enabling exceptional light weight to provide the potential to improve fuel efficiency and cut emissions. This lighter weight allows for a significantly enhanced carbon and energy footprint over the life of a car or truck compared with traditional materials. The Genk capacity expansion demonstrates SABIC’s commitment to automotive customers worldwide and their need for high-performance sustainable solutions that will enable them to design and produce next-generation vehicles.

When we constructed the Genk facility, we proactively built in scalability in anticipation of customers’ future needs,” said Leon Jacobs, Innovative Plastics’ Automotive leader in Europe. “It took only two years before we needed to scale up with this new, state-of-the-art production line because our STAMAX composite resins have become a material of choice for a growing number of automotive applications. STAMAX composite resins give customers outstanding value, especially by assisting in meeting toughening automotive design requirements, reducing overall system costs and increasing sustainability. By providing our customers with an expanded supply of this versatile, high-quality material – in combination with our world-class application development services – we are further able to help them differentiate their products and grow.”

STAMAX composite resins are also available to customers from SABIC’s Bay St. Louis, Miss. site in the Americas, which opened in 2011. Bay St. Louis was modelled on the design and technology of the Genk plant, the largest greenfield PP compounding plant ever built in Europe. Genk also houses a Compounding Innovation Center.

Lower Energy and Fuel Footprint

The properties and performance of STAMAX composite resins make a significant contribution to reduced environmental impact, especially compared to the use of other materials.

For example, STAMAX composite resins deliver similar stiffness performance to polyamide-steel hybrid (PA hybrid) systems, yet eliminate steel beam reinforcement. As a result, STAMAX composite resins can make an even greater contribution to vehicle weight-out, leading to reduced fuel consumption and emissions.

According to SABIC’s Sustainable Product Scorecard, verified by GreenOrder, a leading sustainability consulting firm, an automotive front-end module made from STAMAX composite resin can result in up to 44 percent lower energy footprint compared to a PA hybrid alternative from material sourcing through the end of product life, mostly as a result of the weight savings during vehicle use. Making 200,000 front-end modules with STAMAX resin vs. a PA hybrid solution could save enough energy to power 14,900 homes in Europe for one year.

STAMAX Composite Resins Expanding in Automotive Applications

SABIC’s STAMAX LGFPP composite resins offer several advantages over other materials in automotive applications. Compared to steel, SABIC composite resins are light in weight, do not corrode and facilitate parts integration that can streamline the vehicle assembly process. This high-performance SABIC material also provides excellent strength and dimensional stability, high flow for thin-wall structural components and exceptional design freedom. In addition, STAMAX composite resins provide high heat deflection temperatures, high stiffness, low thermal expansion and low creep.

These properties are leading to diversification in the applications for STAMAX composite resins. The material – widely used in automotive front-end modules, door modules and seating structures – is now used on tailgate structures and is also making inroads in under-the-hood applications where heat is non-critical.

For additional information on SABIC’s STAMAX LGFPP composite resins, please go to www.sabic-ip.com. For technical product inquiries, please contact us at www.sabic-ip.com/prtechinquiry .

About SABIC

Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) ranks among the world’s top petrochemical companies. The company is among the world’s market leaders in the production of polyethylene, polypropylene and other advanced thermoplastics, glycols, methanol and fertilizers.

SABIC recorded a net profit of SR 29.24 billion (US$ 7.80 billion) in 2011. Sales revenues for 2011 totaled SR 189.90 billion (US$ 50.64 billion). Total assets stood at SR 332.78 billion (US$ 88.74 billion) at the end of 2011.

SABIC’s businesses are grouped into Chemicals, Polymers, Performance Chemicals, Fertilizers, Metals and Innovative Plastics. SABIC has significant research resources with 17 dedicated Technology & Innovation facilities in Saudi Arabia, the USA, the Netherlands, Spain, Japan, India and South Korea. The company operates in more than 40 countries across the world with around 40,000 employees worldwide.

SABIC manufactures on a global scale in Saudi Arabia, the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific.

Headquartered in Riyadh, SABIC was founded in 1976 when the Saudi Arabian Government decided to use the hydrocarbon gases associated with its oil production as the principal feedstock for production of chemicals, polymers and fertilizers. The Saudi Arabian Government owns 70 percent of SABIC shares with the remaining 30 percent held by private investors in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Cooperation Council countries.

About Innovative Plastics

SABIC’s Innovative Plastics business is a leading, global supplier of engineering thermoplastics with an 80-year history of breakthrough solutions that solve its customers’ most pressing challenges. Today, Innovative Plastics is a multi-billion-dollar company with operations in more than 35 countries and approximately 9,000 employees worldwide. The company continues to lead the plastics industry with customer collaboration and continued investments in new polymer technologies, global application development, process technologies, and environmentally responsible solutions that serve diverse markets such as automotive, electronics, building & construction, transportation, and healthcare. The company’s extensive product portfolio includes thermoplastic resins, coatings, specialty compounds, film, and sheet. Innovative Plastics (www.sabic-ip.com) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC).

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