From Interiors to Under the Hood

Our solutions for thermoplastics in the mobility industry offer numerous benefits such as reducing vehicle weight, improving strength, and increasing fuel efficiencies. These solutions often serve as alternatives to rubber applications. At Nexeo Plastics, we specialize in providing a wide range of materials for various automotive applications, including exterior, interior, lighting, under-the-hood, cable and wiring jacketing, and vehicle systems.

As a trusted expert in the automotive, mobility, and transportation space, we understand the importance of adhering to automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEM) safety, testing, and performance-based standards. Our team can help you find materials that meet sustainable, regulatory, and performance requirements, including the following:

  • Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFÉ) Standards
  • National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Center for Automotive Lightweighting
  • United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Regulations

Whether it's material specification, part design, troubleshooting, production part approval process (PPAP) assistance, or manufacturing tests, we are here to tackle your material challenges.

Partner with Nexeo Plastics for comprehensive polymer solutions in the mobility industry, backed by our expertise, knowledge, and adherence to automotive standards.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are plastics used in the Automotive industry?

Plastic materials play an important role for several reasons:

  • Weight savings vs. Steel and Aluminum.
  • Ability to manufacture and integrate complex design features.
  • Mechanical property performance.
  • Relatively low cost to manufacture.

How much plastic content is in a car and what are the most common plastic materials used in a vehicle?

The American Chemistry Council reports approx. 411 lbs of thermoplastic are used in a standard vehicle. The largest usage is Polypropylene based resin which is around 97 lbs per vehicle. The overall usage of plastic and composite materials is expected to continue to grow specifically to reduce weight and allow design solutions.

Electric Vehicle (EV)

Electric Vehicle (EV)

With the rapid growth and evolution of the electric vehicle market, we have the expertise and knowledge to provide polymer solutions for various aspects, including Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, Batteries, Charging Stations, Wiring, Cabling, High Voltage applications, and Under the Hood components.

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Exterior

Exterior

We provide a broad portfolio of high-performance thermoplastics for exteriors, including body side molding, bumpers, door handles, electric vehicle (EV) chargers, fenders, gas tanks, grills, mirrors, rocker panels, step bars, and step pads.

What is required for plastic materials used on the exterior of a vehicle?

The materials require a high amount of Ultraviolet light resistance and weatherability. Often parts are painted or are protected by a clearcoat from the UV.  A different approach is to put UV resistant additives into the base polymer compound or into the color concentrate to reduce the effect of the UV.  High impact properties and scratch resistance are also important for safety and cosmetics.

What plastic materials are typically used on Automotive Exterior components?

  • Bumper fascia: TPO
  • Grilles: ASA, PC, PC/ABS
  • Headlamp/tail lamp lenses: PC, PMMA
  • Seals / Gaskets: TPV, TPE
  • Door Handles: GF-PA
  • Plated Trim: PC/ABS, ABS
  • Pillar Trims: PMMA, ASA
Interior

Interior

For automotive interiors, we offer materials that deliver heat stability, scratch resistance, and a "soft touch" or low stickiness. These materials are suitable for center consoles, cup holders, door panels, grips, handles, headliners, instrument panels, mats, mirrors, roof consoles, seats, shifters, sun visors, trim, and more.

What is required from plastic materials in the interior?

The cockpit consists of several different thermoplastic families ranging from soft haptic materials to structural subframe-type components. Flammability resistance and low VOC emissions are important features for the safety of the occupants. Scratch, Mar, and chemical resistance are also important to maintain the appearance and functionality of the interior. Some Interior components are also painted or decorated with a film that provides UV and chemical resistance.

What plastic materials are used for interior components and systems.

  • Door and Instrument Panels: TPO, TPU, PC/ABS, ABS
  • Floor mats, bin, and cupholder liners: TPV, TPE
  • Structural parts: PC/ABS, GF-PP, GF-PA, TF-PP
  • Lenses, light pipe: PMMA, PC
Lighting

Lighting

We offer a number of thermoplastics that provide excellent light transmission and transparency, heat resistance, shatter resistance, and the ability to be highly moldable for headlights and taillights.

What are some of the plastic materials for automotive lighting?

Under the Hood

Under the Hood

Our under-the-hood thermoplastics are designed to provide functionality in extreme temperature changes, durability, and resistance to chemicals. These materials can be used for applications such as air ducts and intakes, batteries, bumpers, cowl vents, engine covers, fans, fluid bottles/containers/reservoirs, HVAC equipment, plugs, shrouds, and more.

What are the requirements for Under the Hood Plastic materials?

Under-the-hood applications typically require significantly higher heat-resistant materials. 

  • Oil temperatures can run as hot as 260F (127C).
  • Coolant temperature can run as hot as 240F (116C)
  • Transmission temperature can run as hot as 225F (107C)

Thermoplastic materials in direct contact with the motor or fluids need to far withstand these continuous use temperatures.

Dimensional stability, Chemical resistance high flex modulus and hydrolysis resistance are other key factors for these components found under the hood.

What plastic materials are typically used in an ICE under the hood environment?

  • Engine covers and decorative shrouds: GF-PP, TF-PP, GFPA
  • Valve Covers, Intake manifolds: GFPA
  • Oil / Transmission pans: GFPA
  • Air mgmt.: GF-PP, TF-PP, TPV, PA
  • Surge Tanks/ Reservoirs: PP, PA
Wiring and Cabling

Wiring and Cabling

When it comes to automotive wire and cabling and jacketing applications, we offer a range of flexible materials that are chemical, weather, flame, and ozone resistant. These materials can withstand low temperatures and exhibit excellent physical and mechanical properties, making them ideal alternatives to rubber solutions.

What plastics materials are used for wiring and cabling?

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