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Ram; Fiat receive Automotive Innovation Awards

by Bill Cawthon on

RamBox has received the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) Automotive Innovation Award in the Body Exterior Category for creative and ingenuous use of plastics in the automotive industry. A new production process and good design allowed the RamBox to be enlarged while still being uniform and dimensionally accurate. A special grade of glass-reinforced polypropylene plastic (GR-PP) allowed for a 9% weight savings and a 20% cost savings.

Fiat S.p.A. took home the Environmental award for its use of DuPont Zytel 1610 PA1010, a renewably sourced polyamide plastic (Nylon), for biodiesel fuel lines. The lines are made for Fiat by Hutchinson SRL, of Rivoli, Italy for use in new turbo and Multijet diesel engines used on several Fiat vehicles, including the Fiat 500, Panda, Punto, Lancia Delta, Alfa Romeo MiTo and Giulietta.

This is the first automotive use and the first bio-based application of PA1010, which is more than 60% renewably sourced content. Instead of oil, the carbon in PA1010 comes from sebacic acid, which in turn is derived from castor oil.

SPE’s Automotive Innovation Awards Program is the oldest and largest competition of its kind in the world the oldest and largest recognition event in the automotive and plastics industries.

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.

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