In the context of current global warming, reducing CO2 emissions is a particularly difficult challenge, launched by the governments of the world powers in the automotive industry, within a relatively short time. The vehicles’ lightening through the development of new materials is one of the solutions to this major challenge.
It is in this context that the PLUME project fits (for reducing the weight of interior and exterior woodworking on motor vehicles), aiming at reducing by 30 to 50% of auto parts like interior materials (e.g. the component pad located in the trunk) or external linings (e.g. the beltline dressing the doors). To do this, the thermoplastic compounds having a reduced density were developed to adapt to an innovative injection foaming method. On the whole vehicle, the expected gain in terms of weight was in the order of 5 to 7 kg per vehicle.
The PLUME project therefore proposed to address this problem by proposing to lighten 30-50% of the mass of auto parts like interior and exterior trims. 3 work areas were studied:
- The development of thermoplastic compounds loaded with inorganic fibres and having high fluidity.
- The development of an innovative process injection-foaming
- Using an innovative method based on the conceptual design optimization.