Technology

Bengaluru Engineers Create World’s First Plastic As Strong As Steel, While Staying Lightweight

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Engineers are always on the lookout for materials that can improve the performance of their existing products. Carmakers too are always on the lookout to make lighter yet stronger parts to help cars perform better. And, in most cases, these solutions come at a pretty hefty cost.

However, a bunch of Indian engineers at the Bengaluru R&D Facility of Saudi Arabia’s Sabic petrochemical company have created a plastic that is stronger than steel while being extremely lightweight. They’ve created a resin-metal based hybrid solution that they call Noryl GTX.

Noryl GTX blends polyamide (PA) and modified polyphenylene ether polymer (PPE) technology. It brings forward the dimensional stability, low water absorption and heat resistance of PPE polymer with the chemical resistance and flow of PA polymer.

According to Janardhanan Ramanujalu, Company’s Regional head for South-East Asia, Australia and New Zealand, “You don’t normally associate plastic with high temperatures. But we have developed polymers that can work in very high temperatures (as when a car is painted) and which are replacing traditional metals.”

He further added, “Our resin combines with steel to form a very efficient energy-absorption crash-box structure. It cuts the weight by up to 30% and can be compared to high-strength steel and maintains the required level of crash-worthiness.”

This isn’t the first revolutionary discovery at the Bengaluru R&D facility. The team of 300 engineers (mostly chemical and material scientists) are constantly to bring new and innovative tech applications. They are also known to file for at least 70 patents every year.

According to Rajeshwer Dongara, head of the Bengaluru facility, “The application design team at the Bengaluru centre collaborates with global customers in designing and optimising the Noryl GTX resin structures which are moulded over onto the steel skeleton of vehicles. These novel light-weight designs help car structures absorb impact energy (if there’s an accident).”
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