Borealis and Borouge have announced that the new compounding plant of Borealis in Taylorsville, NC, USA, has come on stream during Q1 2019 as planned, with the inauguration of the facility scheduled for 16 May 2019. With production lines for thermoplastic olefin (TPO) and short glass fibre (SGF) reinforced compounds, the plant is well located to meet the growing needs of OEM and Tier 1 in the region for advanced polypropylene (PP) solutions, while adding another 30 kt to the companies’ global PP compounding capacity.
“With the commercial and product development personnel well out of the starting blocks, our North American automotive team is set to drive the further growth of our automotive business in North America,” says Lucrèce Foufopolous, Executive Vice President Polyolefins and Innovation & Technology, Borealis. “Following the plant’s mechanical completion in December, first samples were shipped in February, and several projects with leading North American and European OEMs have already been secured.” Among the first products manufactured at the plant, are automotive interior and exterior materials approved and listed by major automotive customers, including Daimler and Volkswagen Group.
In line with the company’s commitment to automotive engineering, Borealis has also added an advanced new material to its low-density PP portfolio for interior applications, Daplen EE058AI. “The 10 percent talcum filled and elastomer-modified high-purity grade is designed to meet the latest OEM requirements for automotive interior applications with low odour, emission and fogging levels, while offering significant weight savings,” explains Nicholas Kolesch, Head of Automotive Marketing for Borealis. “It combines an excellent balance of stiffness and impact strength with class A aesthetic surfaces and high scratch resistance.”
The Daplen EE058AI grade was featured at the VDI Plastics in Automotive Engineering (PIAE) in Mannheim, Germany, this April. Borealis showed various first commercial interior applications, including lower dashboard, glove box and centre console mouldings used in the new Škoda Scala compact car as well as in the automaker’s new Kamiq urban sports utility vehicle.
“We have successfully been using existing Daplen products in similar components before, but the new EE058AI grade offers unprecedented weight savings of up to 6.5 percent without compromising performance, which helps us lower our carbon footprint to meet committed fleet emission levels,” adds Luděk Bělka, Coordinator Development Dashboard for Škoda. Borealis Daplen and Fibremod long glass fibre thermoplastic materials are also used in further Scala parts, from the interior door panels and dashboard carrier to the front-end module.