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Plastic for Automotive Applications


Automotive Materials Overview
How is plastic used in the car industry?

Plastics are essential materials in the automotive industry. Lightweight polymers such as ABS, polypropylene, and polyurethane are used in interior car components such as dashboard panels or door panels. On the exterior, bumpers are made from a variety of plastics, including polypropylene and nylon. Plastics are even used for engine parts and electrical wiring harnesses, connnectors, and switches. From top to bottom, plastics see use in every facet of car construction due to their light weight, durability, design flexibility, and relative inexpensiveness. The extra weight reduction provided by plastics helps reduce fuel consumption and lower manufacturing costs.


Automotive Materials Resources & PDFs
Customers Also Asked:
What type of plastic is used in cars?

The types of plastics used in cars include polypropylene, polyurethane, PVC, ABS, acrylic, polyamides (nylons), polycarbonate, and polyethylene (HDPE/LDPE).

What are the four plastic components used in modern vehicles?

According to Volkswagen, more than 70% of the plastic in today's cars consist of polypropylene, polyurethane, polyamides (nylons), and PVC. Out of these 4 polymers, polypropylene is the most frequently used due to its thermoplasticity, excellent chemical and heat resistance, and good impact resistance.

What percentage of a car is plastic?

Plastics make up roughly 10% of a modern car's weight, but may make up anywhere between 50 to 70% of a car in volume. They are used throughout the car for a wide range of interior and exterior parts, including bumpers, dashboards, electrical connectors and switches, and coolant tanks.

Why do car manufacturers use so much plastic?

Plastics will not rust and are more lightweight than steel. This extra weight reduction improves fuel efficiency and speed. They are also more easily recycled than steel and cheaper to repair overall, leading to lower maintenance costs. Compared to metal, plastics offer design flexibility - they are easier to fabricate and mold into custom parts.