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SymaLITE Provides Improved Aerodynamics and Weight-Saving for BMW M3

  • Monday, 25th February 2008
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  • Reading time: about 2 minutes

Recently upgraded to deliver improved mechanical and acoustical properties, SymaLITE from Quadrant Plastic Composites has been specified by Tier One supplier Takeo, for underbody shields for the new BMW.

These lightweight panels cover almost the entire underside of the car, offering optimised aerodynamics for improved vehicle handling and fuel efficiency.

SymaLITE is a light weight composite material based on polypropylene (PP) and orientated glass fibres, providing a balance of weight, rigidity and shape. The pre-orientated fibres of SymaLITE allow good loft behaviour during the heating and moulding process, giving expansion of up to six times its original thickness and achieving densities of only 0.3g/cm3, while increasing bending stiffness in the z-direction.

According to Karl-Heinz Kalmbach, Leader Business Line Exterior and Structures, Quadrant Plastics Composites: “SymaLITE technology allows for physical and mechanical properties to match the demands of the part by varying the mix of PP and glass fibres. This offers a new level of design and processing flexibility. For example, it accommodates flat part design without the corrugations usual to parts moulded in GMT and LFT, thereby giving better aerodynamics and acoustics damping characteristics.”

The new BMW application for which SymaLITE is specified includes engine shield, gear box shield and under body shields, to which it brings weight savings, improved acoustical performance, better aerodynamics, corrosion resistance and safety due to the material’s high resistance to crack propagation and deformation.

In supporting these applications, Quadrant Plastics Composites has worked in close co-operation with the German Tier One supplier, Takeo, providing design support, material recommendations, tool development, processing line lay-out, developing new material grades based on the specifications of the OEM.


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