Cooper Standard has been named as a finalist for the 2018 Automotive News PACE Awards for its Fortrex lightweight elastomeric material.
“It’s an honor to be recognized by the industry for our accomplishments in material science innovation, a core competency to which we are deeply committed,” said Keith Stephenson, executive vice president and chief operating officer, Cooper Standard. “The culture of collaboration and innovation that we have developed within Cooper Standard has resulted in significant technological achievements, including Fortrex. This new class of material is providing game-changing advancements in weight reduction and enhanced performance in automotive sealing, an area that until now has not experienced a significant material innovation in decades.”
The Fortrex material combines the best attributes of ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) and thermoplastic vulcanizate (TPV) materials, which are typically used in sealing, while eliminating their negative aspects. Fortrex offers weight savings of up to 30 percent versus traditional EPDM, while avoiding the compression set issues associated with TPV, resulting in superior sealing systems and reduced cabin noise. It does not weather or bloom like EPDM and can be accurately color-matched. Fortrex is non-conductive and has a remarkably low carbon footprint across the entire material and production chain, less than TPV by 22 percent and EPDM by 53 percent. In addition, Fortrex is a dynamic material platform that can be modified for an endless list of applications and performance solutions within automotive and adjacent markets.
The 24th annual PACE (Premier Automotive Suppliers’ Contribution to Excellence) Awards honor supplier innovations that have entered the market and are delivering measurable customer benefits. The finalists, selected by an independent panel of judges, include new products and enhancements in autonomous drive controls, passenger comfort, electric-vehicle components, lightweight materials, display features, safety technologies and powertrain efficiency. In the coming months, the finalists will host PACE judges, who are experts from industry, academia and business, to further evaluate the innovations for creativity and market impact. Winners will be announced April 9, 2018.