Mobility & transport

Plastics help achieve transport solutions that combine high performance, competitive pricing, safety, strength and minimal environmental impact.

When developing transport solutions, designers strive to find the ideal balance between high material performance, competitive pricing, style, comfort, safety, fuel efficiency and minimal environmental impact. The sustainable solution is reflected by an optimal balance of all these parameters and requirements.

Innovative plastics are a key contributor, because:

  • Plastic components weigh 50 percent less than similar components made from other materials, which means a 25 to 35% improvement in fuel economy. 
  • For every kilogram lost, your car will emit 20 kilograms less of carbon dioxide over its operating life.
  • Plastics offer lightweight solutions that fulfil essential safety requirements such as fire safety. 

Airplanes are a good example of how plastics and design innovation are connected in a highly modern and material challenged application.

Since the 70s, the use of plastics in airplanes has grown from 4 to around 50%. 

In the automotive industry, plastics allow for energy absorption, weight reduction and innovative design, while contributing to passenger safety. Features such as shock absorption for bumpers, suppression of explosion risks in fuel tanks, seat belts, airbags and other life-saving accessories such as durable plastic safety seats to protect young passengers make plastics the safest material for automotive applications.

Plastics are also in the vanguard of sustainable innovation, with the average car containing 120 kilograms of plastics (around 15% of its total weight). Modern concept cars are a perfect example of how innovation made possible with plastics also brings environmental benefits.

The car features a range of high-quality thermoplastics that bring design flexibility, but more importantly, the light weight of these plastics means that the car uses an average of 3.3 litres of fuel every 100km and emits only 86g of CO2 per kilometre! 

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Plastics: Road Safety’s Guardian Angels

To say that plastics used in vehicles are only used to make them lighter underestimates their role … Polymers also contribute to the safety of motorists and other road users
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Aviation: high-flying polymers

Aircraft manufacturers are increasingly using composite materials and polymers within aircraft structures. These materials undeniably owe their success to being lightweight; however, they also possess many other key qualities.
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AeroSHARK, a “shark skin” to cover aircraft

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An XXL sail to tow cargo ships

Today, 90% of the world’s trade in goods is carried out by maritime transport, which accounts for 3% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This environmental footprint is expected to increase to 17% by 2050. The IMO (International Maritime Organisation) objective is to reduce the sector’s GHG emissions by 50% compared to 2008 by 2050.
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Tomorrow’s vehicles: polymers lending their weight to the future

Faced with environmental challenges, the automotive industry must reinvent itself. Their design departments are working hard, using new technologies and new developments in materials. Among which, plastics still have many advantages to offer.

“Polymers remain the materials of the future for our industry”

An interview with Gérard Liraut, Polymer Expert Leader for the GROUP RENAULT.
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Luca, a small 100% sustainable electric car

Luca is the name of a small, sporty yellow electric car made entirely or almost entirely from plastic waste from the ocean and recycled materials.
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Zipline, a drone to deliver Covid vaccines

While much of the talk these days revolves around the lack of availability of Covid vaccines, the logistical challenges involved in delivering the vaccines have received very little attention.