Polymers composites redefining mobility, ACMA conference

In addressing use of advanced, high performance composites to reduce vehicle weight and making them safer and more fuel-efficient, and in sync with existing global standards, Auto Components Manufacturers Association of India (ACMA) organised a national conference on Polymer Composites and New Age Materials.

ACMAMr Ambuj Sharma, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises said, ‚ÄúPolymer Composites today have found ways to move beyond, what may be termed as ‚Äėtraditional applications‚Äô, in the automotive industry. Such materials are not only finding usage in the conventional interiors and exteriors of the vehicle but are also being considered ideal for a range of specialty applications. However, he added, there is an immediate need for the industry to seize business opportunities both in the domestic market and those available overseas. Further, the industry must proactively scale-up operations, invest in R&D and further up-grade technology matching the existing global standards.‚ÄĚ

Ms Shradha Suri Marwah, Chairperson, Raw Materials Committee, ACMA & Managing Director, Subros said, “Plastics, elastomer materials and polymer fibres have made their way into the Indian automotive sector by playing an important role in enhancing the vehicle performance. ACMA continuously endeavours to educate members on new developments in material applications. The conference on polymer composites is a step further in this direction.

Application of polymer composites in regards to metals with process relevance with scope for weight reduction by as much as 20-25 kg/vehicle was discussed. High performance polymer grades help in C02 emission reduction. Benefits include high impact strength, good flow ability, chemical resistance and high heat tolerances. Polymer composites, short and long fibres and injection moulded apps are fast finding its way into front end modules, bumper beams, foot rests, battery trays, gear shifter adapters, bus seat assemblies and panel replacements in light commercial vehicles (LCV).

New age materials like Poly-olefins, special polypropylene composites, long fiber composites, thermoplastic composites and engineering plastics were discussed. DSM, DuPont, Essem Polyalloys, Indian Oil Corporation, SABIC, Styrolution ABS and TIPCO suppliers were represented. Indian composite industry is pegged at Rs 15,000 crore with growth expected at 15% a year over the next 4 years. Given its array of applications polymers composites are increasingly being explored for newer applications to make vehicles lighter and fuel efficient.