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Continental Structural Plastics, Inapal Components Reduce Weight, Complexity for New Luxury SUV in Europe

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Inapal Plásticos, Continental Structural Plastics’ operations in Portugal, will be manufacturing a number of lightweight, low-density sheet molded compound (SMC) components for a premium luxury auto maker’s first SUV. These 11 components, ranging from under hood to underbody and Class A components, will reduce part complexity and overall vehicle weight.

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Advanced composites allow for the molding of complex shapes to minimize parts, reducing weight and assembly complexity. (Photo: Business Wire)

By molding the complex radiator assembly frame in a low-density composite material, the OEM was able to minimize the number of parts required under the hood, significantly reducing assembly complexity and weight. Such parts are traditionally steel or aluminum and require multiple stamped components to be assembled to create the final product. Further, the SMC allows for the molding of complex shapes and deep draws, enabling CSP to create a finished assembly that fits the dramatic and distinctive styling of the vehicle.

The vehicle’s tailgate, molded in low-density, Class A SMC, is finished by CSP with a conductive primer before being shipped to the customer. This Class A SMC is e-coat oven capable, giving the customer the freedom to paint the tailgate in-house with the rest of the vehicle.

“Because this vehicle is the first SUV to be manufactured by this particular automaker, there are no direct comparisons to provide exact weight savings afforded by the use of low-density SMC,” said Orlando Rebelo, program manager at Inapal Plásticos. “But it is safe the say the weight savings will be significant and will contribute to the luxury performance customers will expect from this vehicle.”

The components will be manufactured at the CSP facilities in Leça, and Palmela, Portugal.

About Continental Structural Plastics

Continental Structural Plastics, a Teijin Group company, has provided leading-edge technologies in lightweight composite solutions for the automotive, heavy truck, HVAC and construction industries for 50 years. Headquartered in Auburn Hills, Michigan, CSP provides full-service engineering support, and holds multiple patents covering materials development and manufacturing processes. The company has operations on three continents and more than 4,300 employees. For more information, visit cspplastics.com.

About the Teijin Group

Teijin (TSE: 3401) is a technology-driven global group offering advanced solutions in the fields of environmental value; safety, security and disaster mitigation; and demographic change and increased health consciousness. Originally established as Japan's first rayon manufacturer in 1918, Teijin has evolved into a unique enterprise encompassing three core business domains: high-performance materials including aramid, carbon fibers and composites, and also resin and plastic processing, films, polyester fibers and products converting; healthcare including pharmaceuticals and home healthcare equipment for bone/joint, respiratory and cardiovascular/metabolic diseases, nursing care and pre-symptomatic healthcare; and IT including B2B solutions for medical, corporate and public systems as well as packaged software and B2C online services for digital entertainment. Deeply committed to its stakeholders, as expressed in the brand statement “Human Chemistry, Human Solutions”, Teijin aims to be a company that supports the society of the future. The group comprises more than 170 companies and employs some 20,000 people across 20 countries worldwide. Teijin posted consolidated sales of JPY 853.7 billion (USD 8.0 billion) and total assets of JPY 1,004.2 billion (USD 9.4 billion) in the fiscal year that ended on March 31, 2020. Please visit www.teijin.com.

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Contact information

Kim Zitny
+1 248-535-6944
kim.zitny@cspplastics.com

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