For more than twenty years, the predominant use of expanded polypropylene has been in the automotive industry, accounting for about 80% of EPP usage in Europe. There are many good reasons why EPP is here to stay in the automotive industry:
Given its high potential for lightweight construction, EPP effectively reduces the vehicle weight when used, for example, in rear seat benches or wheel cases. The very positive consequence for the environment is lower fuel consumption and fewer emissions! This plastic foam has yet another advantage to offer in terms of sustainability: EPP is optimally recyclable!
EPP shines in both static and dynamic load capability with its excellent energy absorption and impressive recovery behaviour – a seriously good basis for safety-related parts in the vehicle build!
Reliable protection of the transported goods
Functional reliability even over a wide temperature range and resistance to oil and chemicals make expanded polypropylene an ideal material for the automotive sector.
The all-purpose particle foam even looks good. All visible EPP parts in the vehicle, such as sun visor or panelling elements, can be colour-matched to the overall design.
They may be small EPP parts, but they have a big effect: Fully exploiting two crucial properties of expanded polypropylene – its excellent recoverability and its ability to absorb impact energy – automakers have developed impact absorbers made of EPP.
In the event of a collision, moulded EPP parts built into bumper bar systems dampen the pressure and minimize the amount of impact energy transmitted to the chassis. Such protection pays off especially in “parking accidents”, meaning collisions at low speeds. It can avoid expensive damage to the chassis.
Further benefits of particle foam impact absorbers: Their low weight reduces the overall weight of the vehicle and thereby lowers energy consumption. Practical: proximity sensors or temperature sensors can be integrated easily into this innovative system.
Automakers are also impressed by the high rigidity of expanded polypropylene and its good ability to be connected with other materials. Given these properties, high-density EPP is also used as a construction element.
Automotive series parts.
Safety in attractive design.
Even in the car interior, expanded polypropylene provides added protection: Crash pads and other upholstery inlays made of EPP improve the occupants’ safety. The good recoverability of the foam has proven highly successful in this application.
Given the (almost) freely adjustable EPP density from 20 to 180 g/l, the padding values can be adapted to the respective needs. By adding films and fabrics, EPP moulded parts can be “refined” into attractive visible parts inside the car.
The lightweight EPP components make a twofold contribution to environmental protection: They are reusable and, given their low material weight, they help to reduce CO2 emissions.
And because, for most owners, a car is more than just a means to get from A to B, integrating designable EPP moulded parts helps to adapt the look of series parts aesthetically to the overall design.
Are you now wondering where our innovative material could be installed in your car? – Then take a look here: