All Press Releases for December 09, 2021

The Materials Group, Ford Motor Co. Recognized at The SPE Innovation Awards for Recycled Content Exterior Auto Part

Cowl Vent Grille Reduces Landfill Waste, Carbon Emissions, Part Weight and Cost

The lower weight and cost savings were achieved with a part that is 16% less dense than talc-filled prime PP while offering better processing, mechanicals, surface finish and scratch and mar.

    ROCKFORD, MI, December 09, 2021 /24-7PressRelease/ -- The Materials Group and Ford Motor Co. were jointly recognized at the SPE innovation awards as a category finalist for the first Class A exterior auto part to use a custom plastic that incorporates low-density glass microspheres and polypropylene resin recycled from post-industrial carpet scrap.

The Society of Plastics Engineers' Automotive Division recognized the part collaboration at its 50th Annual Automotive Innovation Awards & Gala in Livonia, Mich., on Nov. 10. Use of recycled PP material for the cowl vent grille, developed for the Ford F-150 truck, resulted in significant environmental benefits, including potential landfill avoidance of 1.5 million pounds of material reduction on an annual basis and an 83% reduction in carbon emissions from the reduced use of virgin material.

Development of the TMG Optipro CP47GB material used to manufacture the part achieved several other productivity benefits:

• Using a mold-in-color process enabled the part to meet various requirements for weatherability and surface aesthetics, eliminating the need for secondary operations to correct cosmetic imperfections;
• Use of the glass bubbles resulted in lower part mass (0.50 lb.), helping to improve fuel economy;
• This drop-in application required minimal tooling modifications for fit or finish, saving time and costs for new tooling.

"Our engineering team worked with Ford on this material and part for the better part of two years with goals of incorporating recycled material and reducing weight," said Matt Delaney, TMG engineering manager. "The lower weight and cost savings were achieved with a part that is 16% less dense than talc-filled prime PP while offering better processing, mechanicals, surface finish and scratch and mar."

The cowl vent grille is the first use of Optipro CP47GB polypropylene.


The Ford cowl vent grille is the first application for TMG's Optipro CP47GB PP resin. The material offers considerable performance benefits, particularly for Class A exterior automotive applications.

Recycled PP Resin

• Post-industrial recycled polypropylene with glass fiber and glass bubble fillers
• 3M Glass Bubbles provide density reduction
• Product density 0.90


• Density advantage of 16% over talc-filled PP targeting comparable performance
• Application cost reduction compared to talc-filled PP product
• Provides equitable performance to 20% talc-filled homopolymer PP resin
• Helps OEMs to deliver on sustainability objectives with PIR polypropylene resin


The Materials Group, a privately held company founded in 1999, operates out of a 70,000-sq.-ft. facility in Rockford, Mich. The company distributes a wide range of engineered thermoplastic resins and provides its own line of custom compounded thermoplastic resins and specialty recycled resins. Its materials include various blends and alloys of polycarbonate, thermoplastic elastomer, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, polyamide nylon, polypropylene and more. TMG provides specialty plastics for a variety of interior and exterior automotive applications, as well as numerous industrial products, including office furniture, appliances, consumer products, electronics, home building products, medical equipment and more.

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Amy Stephen
The Materials Group
Rockford, MI
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