The main reason for using polymer plastics in car manufacturing is to reduce the total weight of the vehicle, which saves fuel. Car makers are incorporating increasing amounts of polymers in their products.
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About 11 per cent of the average weight of a passenger car consists of composites, according to the August 24, 2010 issue of Chemical Weekly. Molding and trim, electrical parts, lights, body panels and upholstery all contain polymer materials.
Polymers are also used to make synthetic rubber components for vehicles. These include fluorosilicone and methyl vinyl silicone rubber, which are used to make parts like O-rings, hoses and gaskets.
Even some car exhaust system components like air intake manifolds are being made of polymers that not only dampen sound, but are lightweight and resistant to high temperatures, vibration and chemicals, according to the September 2010 issue of High Performance Plastics.
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