Celanese Corporation announced its Engineered Materials team shared in the Vehicle Interior category award at the 52nd Annual Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) Automotive Innovation Awards Competition and Gala for its role as a material supplier for the 2023 Ford F-150 Lightning Mega Power Frunk. The event was held on November 8, 2023, in Livonia, Michigan.
A 40% long-glass-fiber grade of injection-moldable Celstran ® PP replaced sheet molding compound (SMC) in the 2023 model year F-150 Lightning’s Mega Power Frunk, an under-hood storage area that locks and seals itself away from the elements. This robust component provides an industry-largest 400 liters of space with a 400-pound weight capability.
The production part using Celstran ® PP optimizes rib structure and thickness to match the ‘muscle’ of the thicker SMC version, meeting durability and crash safety requirements. It also eliminates the need for painting to achieve a class-A surface finish and provides a weight reduction of 16 pounds per vehicle. Cycle time reduction (injection vs. compression molding) and paint elimination contribute to an annual savings of approximately $15 million.
“In the fast-paced realm of the automotive industry, our dedicated team is not merely keeping pace but setting the tempo,” said Carl Sullivan, Celanese automotive market development director. “Together with our customers, these efforts serve as the blueprint for an automotive future that is not just aspirational but attainable.”
In addition to the award-winning Frunk, the following Celanese materials were featured as finalists at the awards ceremony this year:
- Zytel ® PA 66 45HSB: Laser-welded xEV cooling spray bars (Ford, Nifco) have replaced steel with this material for lower cost and over 70% mass reduction.
- Celstran ® PP: Unique console structural carrier tooling (GM) uses this long-glass-fiber-filled material to create tooling for a latchless armest with friction hinge and inertia lock that frees up interior space.
- Santoprene ® TPV: The FlushSeal ™ Sealing System Solution (Cooper Standard) utilizes Celanese thermoplastic vulcanizate in its flexible rail to improve aesthetics, reduce weight and decrease assembly time for vehicle window glass.
The SPE Automotive Innovation Awards program is the oldest and most significant competition in the automotive and plastics industries. To learn more, visit https://speautomotive.com/spe-automotive-div-innovation-awards-2023/.