A relatively new Korean producer of polyamide compounds is partnering with Hyundai Motor Co. to introduce new materials for automotive applications.
One recent score is a new compound used in a plastic engine room partition wall, which Hyundai says saves weight versus steel while improving sound insulation and cutting costs. The part was introduced on the 2015 Hyundai Genesis and was a finalist in the 2015 Society of Plastics Engineers Automotive Innovations competion.
The injection molded part, which weighs 4.9 kg, uses a newly developed plastic compound based on polyamide 6/6. Barium sulfate (50 percent) is added to increase density and improve sound insulation. Long glass fiber (2-5 mm) boosts stiffness and dimensional stability. The compound was developed by Kopla Engineering Plastic Co., a Korean engineering plastics compounder, which established a manufacturing plant in Georgia in 2014. Hyundai and sister company Kia assemble cars nearby. Engine-radiated noise can be reduced by 8 dB using the plastic partition wall
In 2014, Kopla reported annual revenues in excess of $100 million with more than $20 million in exports. The company, which began in 1997, said it released the first PA66 anti-impact materials for roof-rack covers in 2003, and registered the material to Hyundai Motors. After three years of joint research with Hyundai, Kopla developed calcium chloride (CaCl2) PA66 products in 2006 for use in radiator tanks.
Since 2009, Kopla has supplied General Motors with compounds in pedal, mirror bracket and other applications.
Its current focus is on development of high-heat and high-strength plastics, including PPA and PPS, often reinforced with carbon fiber.
Shares of the company’s stock are traded on KOSDAQ (Korean Securities Dealers Automated Quotations).