Seatbelts are reported to save up to 11,000 deaths every year. These belts are mostly made of polymers. It’s among these reasons that polymers are being applied extensively in innovative ways in the automotive industry. They are instrumental in helping cars remain light in weight. Also, they help to increase fuel efficiency and reduce carbon emissions along with providing safety benefits like in airbags and seat belts. Above all, polymers for batteries, beautiful finishes and contouring designs in vehicles are also very common in the automotive world. This article takes an in-depth look at the advantages of polymers in the automotive world.
The role that polymers have played in the automotive world is something that needs to be commended. Thousands of lives are said to be saved by seatbelts annually. This safety equipment is normally made of polyester fiber. Also airbags are known to reduce up to 30% of front car crush direct death. Airbags often are made of nylon that has higher strength. Advancements in polymer science have also made manufacture of child safety seats possible so that kids are protected always.
Weight reduction is often the driving force in the reduction of emissions as well as cost reductions. Similarly, reduced weight often will help to boost fuel efficiency of the car. When polymers for batteries are used, for example, these will weigh 50% less compared to when other materials are used. It’s for these reasons that the average weight of a light vehicle today can be as little as 32 pounds of polymers and composites.
When energy is used efficiently, that’s the number-one way using which the sustainability is achieved. As illustrated, when plastics are incorporated in the manufacture of vehicles, the benefits of fuel efficiency and energy savings come almost inevitable. Therefore, when plastic and polymer compositions are reintegrated in the design of the vehicle where other materials have been traditionally used, sustainability will come. Additionally, an increasing number of automakers are taking advantage of using recycled plastics automotive applications to make seat cushions and radiator shroud. Custom polymers for injection molding are also increasingly being used with recycled plastics in car parts, which is another great way of ensuring the environment is clean and sustainable. Read more at S&E Specialty Polymers
Style and innovation
Plastics avail the engineering style qualities that can be applied anywhere in the creativity realm. They allow designers to explore innovative concepts that would be impractical with other materials. This is because they are light in weight, which makes it easy for manipulation. Additionally, plastics are resistant to dents, dings, stone chips and corrosion, making them great for applications on the exterior design of vehicles. Additionally, they are fundamental in cost saving because often custom polymers for rotational moulding and even polymers for batteries do not come expensive as other materials.
With more innovations and inventions in technology and automotive industry, polymer science has enabled an introduction of flame retardant polymer concentrates and strengthened other plastic qualities to make them attractive for use in automotive applications. The benefits reaped from them are immense as illustrated above.