Leading automotive and commercial vehicle interiors supplier, International Automotive Components (IAC), announced today that its proprietary advanced technology HybridFleece Molding™ has scored impressively against conventional processes in the environmental balance from the Institute for Biopolymers and Biocomposites (IfBB) from the University for Applied Sciences of Hannover, Germany. The project details will be unveiled on March 10 at the leading VDI Congress “Plastics in Automotive Engineering,” Mannheim, Germany.
IAC HybridFleece Molding™ is a unique process for combining the pressing of a thermoplastic mixed fiber fleece from a natural fiber, glass or recycled carbon fiber with the molding of stiffening ribs and clips into a one step process in the same molding tool with no need for additional welding or gluing. The technology can be used to produce a variety of lightweight structural and visible (A-surface) interior components and is designed to reduce process complexity.
In order to compare IAC HybridFleece Molding™ with conventional processes, IAC produced a door carrier concept and tested it against the serial SUV product it delivers to an OEM customer. In the present case, the concept door carrier delivers a mass reduction of 35 % and – with regard to its greenhouse potential – 40 % less emissions over the course of its lifetime.
“IAC HybridFleece Molding™ and our own EcoMat™ formulations and production exemplify IAC’s viable innovation and vertical integration strategies to provide unique solutions that can be implemented quickly and efficiently within existing processes,” said Fritz Schweindl Director Advanced Engineering for IAC in Europe.
“The environmental balance is a very good tool to evaluate advanced technologies such as IAC’s HybridFleece Molding™ and effectively support substitution strategies in lightweight design. This general environmental balance is a first approach to identify the improved benefits to the ecological lifecycle of a component: from the retrieval of the natural fiber and its processing to component manufacturing and vehicle application,” explains Prof. Dr. Ing. H.-J. Endres, head of IfBB.
International Automotive Components (IAC) is a leading global supplier of automotive components and systems, including interior and exterior trim. The company’s 2015 sales were $5.9 billion. Headquartered in Luxembourg, IAC Group operates 85 manufacturing facilities in 20 countries. The company has 105 total locations in 22 countries, including 28 design, technical and commercial centers, and employs more than 32,000 people globally. For more information, visit www.iacgroup.com.