Saving Grams in Trim Pieces

Gary S. Vasilash


As vehicle manufacturers look to reduce vehicle weight, and as supplier companies work to provide the means by which they can do this, you may be surprised at how they’re running the figures on saving grams per vehicle.

Case in point: French automotive plastics component supplier Mecaplast produces parts like B-pillar covers for interior trim decoration. Generally, the part is produced with a 20% talc-filled TPO (elastomer-modified polypropylene).


The company recently developed a prototype version of this trim piece, replacing some of the talc filler with a high-performance reinforcing agent, Hyperform HPR-803i, from Milliken.

Here’s where the math gets interesting. The prototype weighs 524 grams, or 18.48 ounces. The prototype is 7% lighter than the commercial part.

According to Nathalie Samson-Maguet, Mecaplast Research & Innovation manager, if the Hyperform material is used in other applications in a C-segment car, such as sill panels and C-pillar covers, there could be a weight save of 225 g per vehicle, which could result in a reduction of carbon dioxide emissions of 0.022 g/km, or 440 g of carbon dioxide per year, based on 20,000 km of driving.

Evidentially, every gram matters.