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Thermwood

Solvay and Renault Trucks Win JEC Innovation Award Using Thermoplastic Composite Material to Lightweight a Completely Redesigned Renault Trucks Structural Truck Module

15 March 2016

Solvay, Renault Trucks and its partners have won the 2016 ‘JEC Innovation Award for Structural Parts in Automotive’ using a thermoplastic composite material to build a front structural module of a truck, called the firewall.

Solvay explains that this new high performance composite material is based on its Evolite thermoplastic resin reinforced with continuous glass fibre. The module weighs 25 percent less than a similar metal model, while the number of parts used to assemble was divided by two, thanks to the pooling of the partners’ innovations in design, materials and manufacturing.  

According to Solvay, lightweighting materials increasingly replace metal parts or structures enabling airplane and automotive manufacturers to meet ever stricter regulations to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of their vehicles.

Solvay adds, in less than four years, they designed, manufactured and validated this new composite module. Assembled on a Renault Truck, it was tested on front crash, vibration and durability, showing it could meet the industry’s strictest safety requirements.

“Solvay is very proud that its thermoplastic composites material has withstood the harsh testing conditions of the truck industry, proving the excellent performance of the Evolite-based composite and increasing the role these composites can play in reducing CO2 emissions. I would like to congratulate and thank our partners for this highly impressive result acknowledged by JEC,” said Nicolas Cudre-Mauroux, Solvay’s Head of Corporate Research & Innovation. “The recent acquisition of Cytec will further boost Solvay’s comprehensive expertise in high performance materials.”

“This important recognition awarded by peers acknowledges Solvay's innovation excellence in the field of thermoplastic composites. Our team is very excited to offer the most advanced technologies and services to our customers to solve their most stringent lightweighting challenges," added Ludovic Odoni, Director of the Advanced Materials innovation platform.