HomeIndustryBorealis Fibremod Used to Produce First and Largest-ever All-Thermoplastic Tailgate for the...

Borealis Fibremod Used to Produce First and Largest-ever All-Thermoplastic Tailgate for the New Volkswagen Multivan

Borealis Fibremod Used to Produce First and Largest-ever All-Thermoplastic Tailgate for the New Volkswagen Multivan

  • Collaboration between Borealis and Magna yields largest, lighter-weight tailgate for Volkswagen with high design freedom
  • Innovative Fibremod portfolio helps industry reduce vehicle weight for lower carbon footprint
  • Borealis and Borouge, leading providers of advanced and circular polyolefin solutions, will showcase successful collaborations with industry partners at the K-Fair 2022 from 19 to 26 October

Borealis Fibremod is used to produce first and largest-ever all-thermoplastic tailgate for the new Volkswagen Multivan. The revolutionary tailgate of the new Volkswagen Multivan demonstrates how customer-centric innovation and collaboration can produce high-performance parts which can lower the overall carbon footprint of vehicles. The Fibremod portfolio of lighter-weight polypropylene (PP) compounds is giving Tier One suppliers and OEMs the freedom to design and manufacture more sustainable and lightweight solutions for leading automotive brands and their increasingly electric fleets.

Reduced weight thanks to innovative Fibremod compounds
Fibremod PP fibre reinforced compounds have a proven track record when it comes to lightweighting for interior, exterior, and under-the-bonnet automotive parts. The proprietary Fibremod long glass fibre reinforced polypropylene (PP-LGF) technology offers excellent fibre impregnation, flexibility in the use of various PP matrices, and the production of grades in customised colours. Fibremod compounds are cost-effective alternatives to conventional metals and engineering plastics-based solutions, as they are highly suitable for injection moulding processes. Moreover, Fibremod LGF compounds boast excellent flowability for smooth processing and low warpage.

The most recent new addition to the Fibremod portfolio has already demonstrated its value as a lightweight design solution and lower-density replacement for conventional engineering polymers. Fibremod GB416LF was specifically tailored for use in tailgate carriers and visible structural parts. As a high-flow, 40% fibre-reinforced material, it fulfils stringent emission and mechanical performance requirements. It also offers excellent surface aesthetics. Using Fibremod GB416LF can eliminate the need for additional surface finishing steps such as painting, making it an even more sustainable alternative.

Fibremod GB416LF used to make the largest-ever PP-LGF tailgate for the new Volkswagen Multivan
The new Volkswagen Multivan is a model with many “firsts”: the first VW bus based on the brand’s MQB modular design construction platform; the first completely redesigned VW Transporter in nearly 20 years; the first Transporter variant available as a plug-in hybrid (in Europe); and the largest-ever visible interior tailgate structure made using PP-LGF.

Leading Tier One supplier Magna used Fibremod GB416LF to ensure that a range of challenging demands on this part could be met. The tailgate consists of several components; the outer frame and the inner part made of Borealis Fibremod GB416LF, glued together to meet the design and load requirements. Painted exterior parts are glued to the tailgate structure as well. As a loadbearing part, the tailgate must be extremely robust in order to withstand static and dynamic loads. Part of the tailgate also lies in the vehicle’s interior, meaning compliance must be assured for emissions, fogging, and odour. Finally, to achieve overall weight reduction for the new Multivan – which weighs around 200 kg less than its immediate predecessor – the tailgate itself must also be lighter. Using Fibremod GB416LF enabled Magna to meet these challenges head-on.

Borealis mobility experts, some of whom are based at Borealis Innovation Headquarters in Linz, Austria, worked closely with Magna during the serial validation process of the PP-LGF tailgate. Borealis uses its sophisticated application testing methods and standards in tandem with its own modelling and simulation methodologies to offer comprehensive support to customers like Magna when developing and implementing new applications based on Fibremod. This can speed up the process by minimising the need for lengthy prototyping and physical testing.

“At Borealis, we use innovation and customer collaboration to accelerate the pace at which mobility becomes more sustainable. Our aim is to work with our industry partners to supply high-performance, polyolefin-based solutions that enable lightweighting and ultimately a lower carbon footprint for vehicles,” says Franck Lagoutte, Borealis Global Commercial Director Mobility. “We are pleased and proud that Fibremod is enhancing the sustainability of the iconic new Volkswagen Multivan.”

Accelerating sustainability in the Automotive Industry
When it comes to accelerating action towards greater sustainability in the automotive industry, the Fibremod portfolio is augmented by other Borealis and Borouge efforts in the circular economy sphere. For example, Borcycle grades with post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastics content are helping meet growing industry and end-user demand for high-quality materials that make better use of natural resources. Borealis was recently commissioned to supply Borcycle M GD3600SY-9502, a 30% short glass fibre reinforced PP with high post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic content, for use in the centre console carriers in a leading OEM’s 2023 models.

Borcycle M is an ever-advancing technology for mechanical recycling that can transform plastic waste into materials fit for demanding applications. Borcycle C denotes material solutions based on chemical recycling; these are virgin-grade materials suitable for the most demanding applications when it comes to performance and safety. The grades in the Bornewables portfolio of circular polyolefin products are manufactured with renewable feedstock. These premium polyolefins offer the same material performance as virgin polyolefins yet are decoupled from fossil fuel-based feedstock.

K 2022 will take place from 19 to 26 October 2022 in Düsseldorf, Germany.

We invite you to “Innovate Collaborate Accelerate” together with us by visiting Borealis and Borouge in Hall 6 at Stand A43, where the Mobility solutions will be on display.


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