LyondellBasell's Moplen EP340M has become one of the first polypropylene products to receive certification from the Association of the German Automotive Industry (VDA) for the production of collapsible pallet boxes used in automotive manufacturing.
A heterophasic polypropylene copolymer regularly used by converters of small crates and large collapsible boxes, Moplen EP340M has now met the requirements of the automotive industry; it provides excellent resistance to low and high temperatures and good impact performance for boxes used in this demanding manufacturing environment.
Used as a carrier for large automotive components, the boxes were developed by VDA experts, together with the box manufacturers to optimize manufacturing chain logistics, including the reuse of the polypropylene boxes. To date, the majority of carriers have been produced using traditional products such as wood and steel. Boxes made from polypropylene are considered by automotive manufacturers to be more suitable for the industry due to their weight and handling advantages. At 1200 mm long and 1000 mm wide, the large boxes produced by German manufacturer will represent a new industry standard.
With a ductile brittle temperature of -55°C combined with a high heat deflection temperature of 80°C, pallet boxes produced using Moplen EP340M meet a wide range of requirements, including high impact resistance. The VDA 4520 recommendation for collapsible pallet boxes used by the automotive industry stipulates the geometric requirements and testing necessary for approval, such as a dynamic vibration test that must be conducted by an independent institute. The test simulates the vibration caused by a truck during transportation. Described by the ASTM 4728, several frequencies, amplitudes and accelerations are forced onto the box while loaded with 500 kg at room temperature, at +40°C and at -15°C. Other tests include the definition of the breaking load at room temperature, at +50°C and at -15°C. While a maximum load of up to 2800 kg can be expected on the lower box, the breaking load must be even higher than three times the weight. Horizontal impact must be tested to simulate collisions by forklifts; several drop tests of a loaded carrier are conducted to complete the mechanical testing.
According to Helmut Gersema, LyondellBasell's Application Development Manager, "Collapsible pallet boxes produced using Moplen EP340M have met these rigorous testing requirements. With the VDA recommendation, we anticipate that automotive manufacturers will significantly increase their use of collapsible pallet boxes."
Moplen is a trademark owned or used by LyondellBasell group companies and is registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.