Plastic components and materials accelerating lightweighting in automobiles

Examples of usage for internal combustion engines, electrified powertrains, and door trim panels



The concept of lightweighting can be considered as one of the important topics in the automotive industry today. There is no doubt that plastic is one of the materials accelerating the lightweighting of automobiles. This report presents the technological trends in automotive plastics, which have been increasing in importance in recent years. Firstly, the characteristics and usage of various plastics used in automobiles are summarized in a number of tables, and latest trends in materials development and processing technologies are presented.

Automotive components made using plastic are extensively adopted for usage on many parts of a vehicle. This report, however, presents various examples of the application of plastics in typical powertrain components and interior parts, supported with images and photographs taken during recent exhibitions. This report introduces some of the plastic components and materials adopted on ICE (Internal Combustion Engines) as well as electrified powertrains such as EVs, HVs, FCVs, as well as plastic materials adopted for various interior parts and door trim materials.

Plastic materials contribute to the lightweighting of batteries Intake manifold with complex shapes Door trims requiring impact resistance and designability


In this report, through the cooperation of Mr. Takeo Yasuda, director of Yasuda Polymer Research Institute and based on the information from CMC Research “The Latest Trends in the Development and Adoption of Automotive Plastic Parts 2018” authored by Mr. Yasuda himself, the latest trends in plastic related technologies that are gaining attention will be covered. Furthermore, the sequel to this report will present the latest trends in plastics processing technologies such as joining and bonding processes.


Related reports:
JSAE Exposition 2018: Lightweight processing technology and plastic materials (Jun. 2018)
Automotive World 2018: Joining of dissimilar materials, high function plastics exhibition (Feb. 2018)
Automotive World 2018: CFRP components and plastic molding technology (Feb. 2018)