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4 comments

Swapping Metal for Plastic?

Posted January 18, 2011 11:56 AM by Sharkles

Vehicles with plastic exterior parts have been around for awhile now and the switch from metal to plastic continues to expand to the interior components as well. Plastics are being used for air-bag components and in pedals and seats. The material is also being applied to power train manifolds, ducts, chain tensioners and belt pulleys, oil pans and sumps, and more. According to a recent post from ICIS Industry News, even some gears and pump components are becoming more plastic-friendly.

Three companies leading the research behind the switch are DSM Engineering Plastics, Bayer MaterialScience, and SABIC Innovative plastics. Wilfrid Gambade, business director of Composite Resins Europe & global markets for DSM, believes that plastics offer benefits that metals don't. "Plastic is a stronger material over metal for many reasons…There is higher heat resistance in friction and oil-resistance, for example."

Have you noticed a shift to plastic components over metal? Do you believe this change for the better?

Source: ICIS Industry News

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#1

Re: Swapping Metal for Plastic?

01/19/2011 7:16 AM

Way back in the 1980s Ford produced an car engine that was about 90% plastics, I will try to find the original papers of which I have a copy!

Xanasax.

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#2

Re: Swapping Metal for Plastic?

01/19/2011 9:30 AM

Plastics don't work very well here in Quebec/ Manitoba/ Northern Ontario/ Alberta/ Nunavut and the Northern Territories during the winter.....it's cold, they break every time it snows because of the people who can't drive/are "new to the country" and have never driven in the snow.....

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#3

Re: Swapping Metal for Plastic?

01/19/2011 7:17 PM

If all those plastics are not based on the use of crude to produce them, then maybe it's a good idea. I worry about the environmental ROI...

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#4
In reply to #3

Re: Swapping Metal for Plastic?

01/20/2011 3:54 AM

Just a thought/challenge:

What modern plastics are based on crude, as opposed to natural gas; let's say in the following groups:

- Engineering/engineered plastics

- Consumer/consumable plastics

- Medical plastics

Within the above groupings, which plastics are almost completely recyclable?

Now, do the same exercise with metals. Ignore rare-earth metals.

Again, just a question for consideration, concerning environmental ROI.

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