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Lanxess makes case for lightweight materials at Automotive Day Detroit

Detroit, MI – Lanxess Corp. will host its first Automotive Day Detroit, a conference for car manufacturers, designers and suppliers. The event, titled, “Making a Material Difference,” will draw more than 200 industry professionals as well as government officials and media representatives. Speakers will focus on new technologies that enable manufacturers to meet the increasingly stringent standards for corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) and greenhouse gas emissions that will take effect from 2017 through 2025.

Matthew Zaluzec, manager of materials and manufacturing research at Ford, and Richard Morris, vice president of assembly at BMW, are among the presenters who will discuss technological strategies for meeting the new standards.

Axel C. Heitmann, chairman of the board of management of Lanxess AG, expressed his belief that chemistry will play a vital role in solving the regulatory, environmental and cost issues facing the automotive sector. “Car companies today have a number of effective tools at their disposal,” he said. “Among these is a growing list of high-tech lightweight materials produced by the chemical industry – plastics, composites and plastic-metal hybrids – that are making cars more efficient, safer and less expensive.”

Flemming B. Bjoernslev, president and CEO of Lanxess Corp., emphasized the growing U.S. demand for plastics with automotive applications. “I have found that our American automotive and tire customers are very receptive to the kind of smart, economical solutions that make mobility more sustainable.”

Today, synthetic materials account for roughly 15 percent of a car’s weight – a figure that is rapidly increasing with the search for lighter, stronger components. Automotive Day will include an exhibition of car parts currently in production that use the latest lightweight materials. Featured in the exhibition is the front end of the Audi A8, made from a plastic-metal hybrid. Also featured are powertrain components made of polyamide thermoplastics including oil pans, oil filter modules and charge-air tubes for induction systems. The latest plastic oil pans add strength while reducing both weight and cost compared with aluminum components. Lanxess’ product portfolio includes lightweight materials used in applications including airbag housings, door handles, brake pedals and roof frame members. Its synthetic rubber portfolio includes synthetic rubber products and rubber chemicals for tubes, gasket, door sealings and high performance tire ‘Green Tires’. Many of the Lanxess high-tech plastic products used to design light-weight plastic parts to replace metal parts in automobiles are made in the United States at the Gastonia, NC, facility. Production in the Gastonia facility started in September 2012.

Source: Rubber World

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