Props for Plastics!

The Automotive Division of the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) International has announced the winners of its 39th annual Automotive Innovation Awards Competition. (Full disclosure: a member of the Automotive Design & Production team was one of the judges.) General Motors and Ford both did well, and while Chrysler per se was not a winner, its new owner-operator, Fiat (not the U.S.

The Automotive Division of the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) International has announced the winners of its 39th annual Automotive Innovation Awards Competition. (Full disclosure: a member of the Automotive Design & Production team was one of the judges.)

General Motors and Ford both did well, and while Chrysler per se was not a winner, its new owner-operator, Fiat (not the U.S. Government), did receive an award. Here’s the rundown:

· Body Exterior: Spoiler with integrated CHMSL for the Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon. Injection molded from a PC/ABS from SABIC Innovative Plastics by ABC Group.

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· Body Interior: Isolator for the Chevy Camaro HVAC blower motor. Injection molded from a 20% talc-filled polypropylene from Spartech Polycom by Delphi.

· Chassis & Hardware: Flexible coupling for the Fiat 500 electric power steering system. Injection molded from a heat-stabilized, 50%-glass reinforced PA 4/6 from DSM by Nexteer Automotive/Forteq.

· Environmental: Radiator end tank for the Toyota Camry. Injection molded from a PA 6/10 with a monomer sourced from caster bean oil (thus the environmental correctitude). The material supplier is DuPont Automotive and the processor is DENSO.

· Materials: Door panel for the BMW 7 Series. Compression molded from an acrylic copolymer that permits the production of a panel that is not only strong (high fiber loadings, in this case a renewable natural fiber mat), but lightweight, low cost and with reduced VOC emissions. BASF provides the resin and J. Dittrich & Söhne the fiber mat. Dräxlmaier Group did the processing.

· Performance & Customization: Illuminated door sill insert for the Ford Mustang and Lincoln MKZ and MKT. The door sill combines ABS bi-laminate, polycarbonate, and acrylic in such a way that only one LED light source is required for illumination. Materials suppliers include Altuglas, SABIC Innovative Plastics, and Serigraph. The processor is Innotec Group.

· Powertrain: Oil pan for the Ford 6.7-liter PowerStroke Turbo Diesel. This oil pan is designed for exposure to the road environment. It is injection molded from an impact-modified, 35% glass-reinforced nylon 6 from BASF. Dana is the processor.

· Process / Assembly / Enabling Technologies: Radio case with insert-molded EMC shielding for the GMT 900 SUV/truck family. Produced via insert injection molding with reprocessed 16%-glass reinforced PC/ABS from MRC by Delphi E&S. (This also won the Grand Award.)

· Safety: Pedestrian-complaint front fender for the Ford Kuga compact crossover (it is a European model, but we’ve seen it rolling around southeastern Michigan, so. . .). Injection molded by Montaplast from MPPE/PA from SABIC Innovative Plastics that is not only online paintable and dent- and corrosion-resistant, but also meets European pedestrian-protection requirements.

· Hall of Fame: The front fenders for the ’87 Buick LeSabre T-Type sports coupe were injection molded from a GE Plastics (now SABIC Innovative Plastics) MPPE/PA by Buick Factory 8. This represents the first-ever thermoplastic body panels.

· Vehicle Engineering Team Award: To Ford for various plastics uses on the new Ford Taurus.

· Lifetime Achievement Award: Irvin E. Poston, who had a long career at GM.

Congratulations to all of the winners!