Mazda Motor Corporation has developed, jointly with Japan Polypropylene Corporation, resin material for vehicle parts that maintains the same rigidity as parts made with conventional materials while achieving significant weight reduction.
Using this material, the parts manufactured are thinner than those using conventional resin, resulting in a significant reduction in the resin required to manufacture parts. When the material is used for both front and rear bumpers, it contributes to weight reduction of approximately 20%.
In the bumper production process, this reduced thickness allows for a shorter cooling period for moulding, and by using computer-aided engineering (CAE) technology, the fluidity of the resin material has also been optimised.
As a result, bumper moulding time, previously 60 seconds, has been halved to 30 seconds, leading to major reductions in the amount of energy consumed in the production process.
Mazda plans to adopt the lightest bumpers in the class using this resin material in the all-new Mazda CX-5 SUV to go on sale in March as well as in other upcoming new models.
Bumper weight has a major impact on fuel economy and driving performance. On the other hand, bumpers are also multi-functional requiring both the rigidity to absorb impact, and the moulding and painting properties suitable for excellent exterior design.
Mazda blended two components found in polypropylene and rubber, the constituents of resin, that have different properties, and succeeded in distributing them in a double-layer structure in line with the required function for the surface and the inside of the base bumper material. As a result of this achievement, the surface has excellent paint film adhesion and the inner section retains high rigidity and impact absorption, with reduced thickness.
Moving forward, Mazda remains committed to reducing vehicle weight and improving dynamic performance in order to provide all its customers with driving pleasure and outstanding environmental and safety performance.