FIAT has once again turned to lightweight, cost-competitive materials from Borealis and Borouge, leading providers of innovative, value creating plastics solutions, to achieve top-level aesthetics and performance for interior and exterior components on its new Fiat Panda. The Panda model is one of the original equipment manufacturers’ (OEMs) key new platforms for 2012.
Borealis and Borouge’s polypropylene (PP) automotive innovations combine a host of high-performance mechanical properties and processing advantages designed to ease production, and enhance the quality and surface finish of vehicle interiors and exteriors. In addition, the lightweight polyolefins offer vehicle weight savings when used to replace traditional parts materials, contributing to a reduction in fuel consumption. Borealis has assisted the company’s enhancement of performance and aesthetics of interior and exterior vehicle parts on models recognised for their safety and cutting-edge designs such as the Alfa Romeo Giulietta and Fiat 500.
For the new Fiat Panda, Tier One supplier Magneti Marelli successfully used high-performance Daplen™ thermoplastic olefin (TPO) compounds from Borealis to achieve consistent parts with the visual appeal and safety-related performance to meet FIAT’s stringent quality requirements and technical specifications.
• Bumper: High-performance Daplen™ EE103AE-9543 was selected by FIAT due to its excellent balance between impact strength and stiffness. The grade gives good surface quality and is easy to process. Its high flowability allows the moulding of complex-structured parts with very high flow path / wall thickness ratios. EE103AE is particularly suitable for bumpers which require low expansion over a broad temperature scale. The zero-gap tolerance and good paintability of the finished part supports good continuity with the car body for enhanced visual appeal.
• Dashboard and Centre Console: Daplen™ EE168AI-9533 offers outstanding impact behaviour combined with very low gloss and very good scratch behaviour. This grade, also chosen for the new Lancia Y model launched in 2011, meets FIAT’s highly demanding quality expectations for interior components.
• Dashboard fascia: Borealis and Borouge developed a specific solution for FIAT to overcome the potential for warpage and distortion often associated with the adoption of over-moulding technology for this part. Using a combination of Borealis’ grade Xmod™ MSC65T20 for the non-visible structural part and Daplen™ EG265Ai for the aesthetic surface, a superior surface was achieved in terms of tiger stripes and the dimensions were exact without any distortion.
“The 2012 Fiat Panda marks the latest collaboration in our 17 year history of close cooperation with FIAT,” says Bruno Sola, Borealis Sales Manager Business Unit Mobility. “A dedicated Borealis team of specialists based at FIAT’s headquarters in Turin, Italy is supplemented with long-term support for the car manufacturer’s activities in Brazil. Borealis and Borouge also plan to start cooperation with FIAT-Chrysler in China in the near future.”
“Borealis and Borouge are committed to providing cost-competitive material solutions to meet the automotive industry’s requirements for cutting-edge aesthetics and a step change in cost-efficiency, weight reduction and environmental performance,” comments Harald Hammer, Borealis Vice President Business Unit Mobility. “The Fiat Panda is a great example of this, and highlights once again the benefits of our long-term partnership in supporting FIAT’s pursuit of top-level quality perception for its vehicle interiors and exteriors.”