World’s first automobile roof frame made of natural fibre

BASF’s Acrodur 950 L binder has been used in the production of the world’s first car roof frame that is entirely made of natural fibre. The FibreFrame lightweight component has been developed by BASF and the International Automotive Components Group (IAC) and is being installed on the latest Mercedes-Benz E-Class.

Thorsten Habeck, head of marketing for Dispersions for Fibre Bonding at BASF, said: “Natural-fibre roof frames based on Acrodur 950 L are around 40% lighter than roof frames made from metal. Hence, we help car makers achieve their sustainability targets because lighter vehicles consume less fuel and have lower carbon emissions.”

The Acrodur 950 L binder is claimed to have ensured the necessary loading capacity and heat resistance of the lightweight component. As an alternative to phenolic resins, the water-based binder is claimed to strengthen the natural fibres enabling an environmentally compatible, dimensionally stable and lightweight solution for car roof frames.

Fritz Schweindl, director of Advanced Engineering at IAC, added: “It was easy to integrate the BASF binder into our production system. The natural fibre components that are strengthened with Acrodur are ideal to mould; they are environmentally friendly and save time during the production of the composites,”

“Furthermore, the product is low in emissions, which means that it is safer to work with,” he added.

Acrodur binders are used to strengthen natural fibre mats that are further processed into moulded parts to be used in high-quality lightweight applications in the furniture and automotive industry.

Tom Austin-Morgan

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