Proton chooses Neotec

Corus has won a contract to supply Proton with advanced Neotec steel, which will be used in the manufacture of fuel tanks for the car manufacturer’s GEN-2 range.

Corus Automotive has won a contract to supply Proton with advanced Neotec steel, a hot-dip tin-zinc alloy coated steel. This will be used in the manufacture of fuel tanks for one of the carmaker’s latest additions to its popular GEN-2 range, the 1.6 GSX.

Launched to the automotive market in 2003, Corus’ Neotec lead-free metallic-coated steel has been designed specifically to help vehicle manufacturers develop emission-free fuel tanks that meet future environmental legislation but also recycling targets for vehicles at the end of their life.

According to Corus, one of the major drivers behind the carmaker’s decision to use Neotec has been the European End-of-Life Vehicle (ELV) directive, which requires vehicle manufactures to remove heavy metals such as lead and mercury from vehicle components. The directive also dictates ELV material recovery or re-use rates of over 85 per cent of the whole vehicle from 2006 and over 95 per cent from 2015. Neotec, which Corus says is 100 per cent recyclable, will help vehicle manufacturers meet these recycling requirements.

Another major driver that has implications for all carmakers is legislation such as the Californian Partial Zero Emission Vehicle legislation (PZEV) requiring vehicles to have zero fuel evaporative emissions. Despite lobbying from carmakers, Corus anticipates that other American states and automotive markets, including Europe, will begin to adopt similar stringent legislation putting vehicle manufacturers under increasing pressure to develop an alternative to the plastic fuel tank.

Corus believes that adapted plastic fuel tanks designed to reduce fuel evaporation will struggle to meet PZEV legislation and will significantly increase manufacturing costs.

Commenting on the decision to switch to Neotec, Miss Chin Swee Ming, Head of Vehicle Program B from Proton said: “We knew from our engineering colleagues at Lotus, who are using Neotec to manufacture fuel tanks for the Elise, that this innovative material would perform well and would be able to meet our specific design requirements.”