GE Plastics says it has developed a new resin for bumper fascias and front-end modules that will debut later this year on at least one ’02 model-year vehicle.

“We're in discussions with a bunch of different companies, Tier 1s and OEMs,” says a GE spokesman.

The first new alloy from GE in many years, Noryl PPX is being pitched by the Pittsfield, MA-based company as an ideal replacement for thermoplastic olefin, nylon and steel, due to its stiffness, toughness and heat resistance. “The impact strength is enormous,” the GE spokesman claims.

Among the other benefits GE is promising are reduced material usage, faster molding cycles, parts consolidation and weight and cost reduction. The key to Noryl is the combination of previously incompatible articles of polyphenylene ether with a base polypropylene using a patent-pending technology. “Prior to this development, design engineers requiring a wide range of modulus, toughness and temperature extremes had to play a balancing act, sacrificing one material attribute for another,” says Keith DuPont, product manager, Noryl resin business.

Of the four Noryl commercial grades available, GE foresees the PPX7125 non-reinforced resin getting the most exterior applications, and the 30% glass-reinforced PPX630 drawing the most orders for underhood components. “It's customer driven. They've asked us over and over again for this,” says the GE spokesman. “We easily see us putting out at least four more in the next few years.”