SP Group produces advance material coatings and lining for the automotive sector which has recently undergone profound change to adapt to new market trends and shifting customer demands.
Aware that quality, long-lasting insulation requires good components and raw materials, at SP Group we produce a range of co-extrusion materials that meet industry standards for motor vehicles.
In this market in particular, products have to comply with strict comfort and stability regulations. By striving to create better materials, we help facilitate the work of the automotive sector.
SO, WHAT ARE MOTOR VEHICLES MADE OF?
Let’s take a quick look at what cars, vans, buses and lorries are made of. The main materials are:
- Metal: Almost all the weight of a motor vehicle comes from the steel it contains to withstand impact and protect the people travelling inside. The basic frame (safety cage) is normally made of steel, and weighs around 1,300 kilos when weighed separately. The doors, roof and bodywork are also made of this very tough material. It is even used in some parts of the engine.
Motor vehicles also contain aluminium. This lightweight material has gradually been replacing steel over the last three decades.
- Glass: While it not the most abundant material in a motor vehicle, the glass used must be of high quality and ensure good visibility. It must also be tough to resist impact and break safely to avoid injury to the people inside.
- Rubber: A vehicle’s tyres obviously have to be made of a very specific material, and both natural rubber (from trees) and synthetic rubber (an oil derivative) are commonly used.
- Plastics: The mouldability, toughness and durability of plastic make it very attractive for vehicle manufacturers. It also weighs a lot less than other materials. Thanks to research and development activities there are now plastic materials available that are ideal for the automotive industry.
PLASTIC COVERING AND LINING MATERIALS FOR VEHICLES
At SP Group we create materials using coextrusion (a process that allows us to combine two different textures through extrusion). These materials are used to make very different components; some visible in the vehicle and others that are hidden but that play a crucial role.
For example, the interior and exterior parts of the dashboard are generally made from plastic, as well as the mats and carpets, and the roof lining. The materials used are rigid and semi-rigid plastics with insulating properties that ensure noise is reduced to a comfortable level for drivers and passengers.
The products SP Group produces for the automotive industry are:
- RSE: This material stands out for its versatility. It is so versatile in fact, that we use it for food packaging (for vacuum-packing) as well as for applications in the automotive industry. This is because it is ideal for thermoforming. It contains no chlorine, can withstand high temperatures (it can be pasteurised) and it provides excellent isolation (in the food industry, for example, it provides an oxygen barrier).
- PP FLOC: This material is found on the inside of the doors and windows of cars, vans, etc. (it is a special polypropylene film). It is principally used for its insulating properties, which are essential to ensure the interior of the vehicle remains comfortable. Its ability to muffle sound ensures noise levels are kept to a minimum. It has texture like rubber. It is not slippery, meaning it is also used on the carpets. It forms a good barrier to water vapour and withstands high temperatures well.
These are the two main covering and lining materials found in motor vehicles and which SP Group produces following strict guidelines on sustainability, among others. This can best be seen in our factory in Espiel (Córdoba), where we produce coextrusions that are ideal for the circular economy.
This factory is one of the main suppliers of this type of material and has been following the good practices created for the Tray2Tray project – giving a second life to our materials – since 2016.
This means SP Group is helping make the industry more sustainable, by developing and innovating in terms of recycling and reusing materials.