JSAE Exposition 2017: Leading resin material makers

New technologies including metal substitution, high strength/ high rigidity material, and more



A concept car displayed at a material maker’s booth

 At the “Automotive Engineering Exposition Yokohama 2017 (sponsored by the Society of Automotive Engineers of Japan, Inc.),” many material makers had exhibition booths in the Tier 1 suppliers’ exhibition area and were filled with visitors. In order to expand business to the automotive field, material and mold makers presented a variety of new technologies such as high strength, high rigidity materials; metal substitute materials; dissimilar material bonding; and decoration related technologies. Concept cars demonstrating automotive resin products were also displayed.

 As weight reduction and electrification technologies for vehicles progress, material makers are also expanding the fields they operate in. Carbon Fiber Reinforced Resin (exhibition booths), which has been adopted for the body frame and structural materials of luxury cars, will also be used in mass production vehicles including the Toyota Prius PHV. CFRP, which has excellent strength and rigidity, contributes to the improvement of safety performance in areas like shock reduction during a collision. It also contributes to the reduction in the number of components since it enables integral molding. Moreover, the adoption of lightweight plastic parts that are highly moldable is also increasing. In particular, (super) engineering plastics excellent in strength and heat resistance are being used for structural materials, mechanical parts, electrical components, and insulating parts. For example, using resin instead of metal for engine parts is expected to reduce weight and improve thermal and sound insulation.

 Leading resin makers are aiming to offer multimaterialization, wherein various materials are combined. The companies are developing metal substitute material and bonding technology that have high material strength, rigidity, processability and cost balance. Additionally, with the increase in electric vehicles, suppliers are actively investing in domestic and overseas facilities to supply lithium-ion battery materials (separator, cathode material, anode material, and electrolytes).

 This report will profile major resin material makers and introduce notable products and technologies. It was prepared with the cooperation of Mr. Takeo Yasuda, the Director of Yasuda Polymer Research Institute. The next report will focus on unique plastic materials and molding processing technologies.


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