Car Door Life Cycle Assessment

SABIC, a Saudi Arabia-based petrochemical manufacturer, released results of its 2018 life-cycle assessment of car side doors manufactured using hybrid materials. Among these materials were laminates with SABIC’s continuous fiber-reinforced thermoplastic composite (CFRTC), the UDMAX™ GPP 45-70 tape, which was designed to improve compliance with energy and emissions regulations. The assessment compared the side door of a sedan made with CFRTC components, including UDMAX GPP 45-70 tape combined with an injection-molded grade of glass-filled thermoplastic resin, to comparable doors of steel, aluminum and magnesium.

The UDMAX tapes were converted into a laminate in combination with other products to create a hybrid material system. The study also compared vehicles based on different powertrains—internal combustion, plug-in hybrid, and electric. The assessment concluded that doors made with glass-fiber polypropylene-reinforced composites were superior in two environmental categories—global-warming potential and cumulative energy demand. The company says the CFRTC parts, which weigh less than steel, aluminum and magnesium, will become increasingly important as nations across the globe continue to tighten vehicle-emissions regulations.