Lighter vehicles need materials with high enough performance

On the roads, in the air and even in space, the mobility industry as a whole is going through a deep transformation driven by the urgent need for fuel efficiency and lower emissions. Above all else, this transformation involves building vehicles with lighter materials, generally by replacing metal with plastics - but this can only be done when the plastics in question are up to the task. Fortunately, new products are constantly emerging that offer the same strength and reliability as good old steel and aluminum, while often coming with added benefits such as higher design flexibility, increased manufacturing efficiency and cost reductions.

Car driving in a curve

 
The road to greener transport - let’s explore...

Solvay is making lightweighting in the transportation industry a reality by providing some of the highest performing materials available on the market today. Here are five examples of solutions that are helping to shape the future of automotive and aerospace manufacturing, one lightweight part at a time.

New possibilities thanks to overmolding

New doors are opened for non-metallic structural parts in cars thanks to overmolding, a manufacturing technique that combines thermoplastics and composite materials.

High volumes for cost effectiveness 

SolvaLite™ is a thermoset composite that is not only as strong as metal, it’s also fully compatible with robotized manufacturing chains, paving the way for composites to become more mainstream and cost-effective than ever.

A thermoplastic that can take the heat

Thanks to its outstanding thermal resistance, Ryton® PPS is increasingly used by the automotive industry for new applications such as extruded coolant lines for cooling systems, thus further contributing to lightweighting as well as facilitating the design of intricate parts.

Composites in outer space too

Solvay materials of all sorts have been traveling to space for over 50 years. Payload fairings for example, the huge nose cones of rockets that send satellites into orbit, are often made of composites: they’re much lighter, but also easier to assemble.

Elevating urban air mobility 

The rapid development of delivery drones and future air taxis won’t happen without the right materials to support it. Here, as in other industries, lightweighting and facilitated manufacturing are key assets that Solvay’s thermoset and thermoplastic composites possess.