Expanded polypropylene (EPP) is a versatile plastic compound used in a growing number of applications, from consumer products and packaging to automotive and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC).
In this blog, we look at the EPP applications in the automotive industry, which accounts for about 80% of EPP usage in Europe.
What is EPP?
Polypropylene is a plastic made from propylene gas in the presence of a catalyst. Expanded Polypropylene (EPP) is manufactured by pressurising silo tanks, containing the raw bead, with air. The raw beads are transferred into moulds at high pressure.
Once in the mould, the raw beads are then heated using steam. While the pressure drops, the beads expand and fill out the mould. The process causes the beads to fuse and mould into the desired product.
Polypropylene is a plastic made from propylene gas in the presence of a catalyst. Expanded Polypropylene (EPP) is manufactured by pressurising silo tanks, containing the raw bead, with air. The raw beads are then transferred into moulds at a high pressure. Once in the mould, the raw beads are then heated using steam. Whilst the pressure drops the beads expand and fill out the mould. The process causes the beads to fuse and mould into the desired product. Isolite produces EPP products mainly for the automotive industry, such as, seat cores, bumpers, knee pads and door fillers.
EPP for Automotive Parts
Lightness and Durability. EPP is an excellent replacement for metals and other plastic materials. In particular, EPP foam is remarkably dure, although lightweight, which make EPP-moulded products ideal for automobile components such as bumpers, roof pillars, seat bracing, armrests and so on.
EPP can significantly reduce weight, save fuel and increase durability – all requirements in an industry that is constantly innovating to reduce the weight of automobiles to improve fuel efficiencies and reduce CO2 emissions.
Safety, Resistance and Protection. Due to its excellent recoverability and its ability to absorb impact energy, EPP foam is widely used in impact absorbers.
In the event of a collision, moulded EPP minimise the amount of impact energy transmitted to the chassis, resulting in increased safety for drivers and passengers.
Also, the material is reliable over a wide temperature range, and resistant to oil, petroleum and chemicals.
Environmental Sustainability. An added advantage is the fact that EPP components are environmentally friendly, sustainable and recyclable and in line with the end of life (ELV) automotive requirements.
Customisation. Furthermore, all visible EPP parts in the vehicle, such as luggage compartments, sun visor or panelling elements, can be colour-matched to the overall design, which improves the quality of design.
Isolite has been manufacturing EPP products for the automotive industry for over a decade.
Isolite produces EPP products such as seat cores, bumpers, knee pads and door fillers with the highest quality expanded polypropylene material available.
We have a toolroom to assist with the manufacture of moulds, and a JSP ARPRO approved moulder. Products moulded from ARPRO are remarkably durable, lightweight, and recyclable.