LIVONIA, Mich., Dec. 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Ford Motor Co. and Asahi Kasei Plastics North America, Inc. shared the stage at the 42 nd Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE ®) Automotive Innovation Awards Gala, winning the " Most Innovative Use of Plastics" title in the Materials category for the LINCOLN ® MKZ ®, FORD ® FUSION ® and FORD ESCAPE ® air register vanes. Asahi Kasei Plastics developed Leona™ resin, an advanced, partially aromatic polyamide (PA 66/6i) with 60 percent glass reinforcement, to solve the challenges FORD faced when designing longer register vanes. The unique properties of the Leona 90G60 resin meets FORD's requirements for high strength and high modulus (stiffness) while providing the finished part with a Class A surface.
"We are especially proud to have won this award two years in a row and are grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with FORD on such a challenging and rewarding project," said John Moyer, president of Asahi Kasei Plastics. "The high level of collaboration with the interiors team led by Mike Sun, supervisor and technical specialist at FORD, made the development and implementation seamless. For that we say thank you."
"I must also extend my deepest gratitude to our employees," continued Moyer "Their dedication and commitment made both the innovation and the award ultimately possible."
"The molded-in-color, Class A surface finish achieved with a 60 percent fiberglass reinforced, controlled crystallization polyamide is a first for FORD and the North American auto industry," said Ramesh Iyer, vice president of commercial operations at Asahi Kasei Plastics.New Design Required New Technology Historically, the styling of the instrument panel and center stack have not demanded that register vanes need specialty materials such as Leona 90G60 resin, but that was before touch screen displays started occupying large areas of the dashboard. This shift of instrument panel utilization has required designers to rethink the placement and design of registers which for many years have been simple geometric shapes.