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Lightweight Product Design Using Long Fiber-Filled Polypropylene

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    Sabic is a major manufacturer of long fiber filled polypropylene. These long fiber filled plastics can be used to produce light weight structural components with excellent structural properties. Light weighting products is particularly important in the Automotive and Transportation industry, where weight reduction is a major driver for improving fuel economy and reduces the overall carbon footprint over the product life. To leverage the high strength-to-weight ratio, the design of the products have to account for the manufacturing process. The Autodesk Moldflow 2012 release includes the ability to calculate the orientation of long fibers during the injection molding process, which is the main component in understanding the strength characteristics of the products. The understanding of the strength of the products can then in turn be fed back into the design to optimize the design of a lightweight, yet strong, plastic product.

    Key Learnings

    • Describe how lightweight design and injection molding simulation can work hand in hand
    • Explain how long fiber filled plastics have great strength-to-weight ratios
    • Explain how the orientation of short fiber-filled plastics differs from long fiber-filled plastics
    • Describe how the orientation of the long fibers influences the products' structural performance