Sumika Polymer Compounds reaffirms its expertise for the moulding of large structural automotive applications
Flex-N-Gate Europe teamed up with Sumika and together produced the world’s first automotive inner tailgate trim in short glass fibre reinforced polypropylene for Stellantis’ new DS4 hatchback
September 26, 2022
Sumika Polymer Compounds (Sumika), a leader in the development and manufacturing of high-quality polyolefin thermoplastic compounds and elastomers, and Flex-N-Gate Europe combined expertise to manufacture the world’s first short glass fibre reinforced polypropylene (PP) inner tailgate trim for Stellantis’ new DS4 hatchback.
Flex-N-Gate has over six decades of experience with auto OEMs offering a full range of design services from initial concept renderings to fully functional prototypes for the development of world-class automotive applications.
The rising e-mobility trend has increased the need for light-weighting solutions as balancing the vehicle’s load and axle weight distribution is important for performance and fuel efficiency. Battery powered electric vehicles (BEVs) and hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) bring new challenges to automakers concerning trunk weight balancing.
The material choice to mould a complex, large inner tailgate part for Stellantis’ DS4 hatchback allowing for metal inserts and fixtures had to provide a homogenous glass fibre dispersion in very long flow lengths, provide outstanding mechanical performance, and offer a Class-A surface finish that also included the OEM’s colour and UV specifications.
Sumika, who has over 40 years’ experience in manufacturing compounds for demanding automotive applications, combined a high fluidity PP from parent company Sumitomo Chemical and unique short glass fibres with advanced sizing and binding technology to develop a customized THERMOFIL HP® compound which ultimately provided higher mechanical properties than long glass fibre filled PP compounds.
Sumika’s THERMOFIL HP® short glass fibre reinforced PP compound allowed easy processing during injection with fewer nozzles, a perfectly smooth and outstanding surface aesthetic with no visible weld lines, and a shorter cycle time of up to 5%, thereby saving energy. The part is also fully recyclable at end-of-life.
® THERMOFIL HP is a registered trademark of Sumika Polymer Compounds
September 26, 2022
Sumika Polymer Compounds Europe, part of Japanese group Sumitomo Chemical, has been manufacturing thermoplastics for over 40 years and offers a wide range of thermoplastic compounds and polyolefin-based elastomers. We are leader in the field of high-quality polyolefin thermoplastics compounds and elastomers. The mission of our employees is to contribute directly to the sustainable performance of our business partners. We help them to pursue their economic development with the current environment needs. Polypropylene (PP) compounds specialist for automotive, white goods and specialized applications, we are recognized for a wide range of customized products, particularly designed for high performances. In the same way, we supply durable plastic compounds for industrial use. We continuously develop new technologies to meet tomorrow’s demand. As a member of a worldwide network of Sumika companies covering the United States, Thailand, China, Japan, India, and Turkey, we are a global partner providing local supply and support to our customers around the world. The mission of our employees is to contribute directly to the sustainable performance of our business partners. Moreover, leader in the field of high-quality polypropylene (PP) compounds, we are well known for a wide range of products, especially designed for high performance: 90% of car manufacturers use our products. Our aim is to make vehicles lighter by replacing heavier materials (PA & PBT).
About Flex-N-GateStarting in United States with aftermarket parts in 1956 and moving into O.E. in 1968. Flex-N-Gate is a Leader and innovative company that:
produces the highest quality products and systems, and provides comprehensive solutions using our collective resources of product engineering, project management, testing, stamping, welding, painting, plating, assembly and shipping for the main car makers.
with the full support of a passionate, flexible and responsible team.
Flex-N-Gate worldwide: 26 000 employees, in 9 countries, and 69 production plants and R&D centers.
The compa,ycombines human scale with high ambitions. Flex-N-Gate is one of the European leaders in the supply of external parts for the main car manufacturers.
Flex-N-Gate in Europe: 4 activities: Plastic, Metal, Mechanical assembly, and Lighting; 15 production sites in Europe; 3 R&D centres in Spain, France and Germany and more than 3500 employees.