WEB EXCLUSIVE: Audi in Germany has selected a new Softell PP copolymer compound from LyondellBasell (U.S. office in Wilmington, Del.) for the rear inner door panel of its new A1 model. The new resin grade enabled Audi to achieve low gloss and soft-touch feel without the usually required painting. Interior applications in premium-class models have been dominated by other resins such as PC/ABS with soft-touch paint. The gloss level of typical PP compounds is in the range of 2 to 3 GUs (60° gloss units). Softell resins have gloss readings below 1.5, which is required for a good matte surface. To reach this level, paint has usually been required. Eliminating paint reduces cost and environmental emissions and improves recycling potential. Compared to the usual resins, the Softell grade reportedly provides improved flow in injection molding. Improved flow was essential to mold the sophisticated loudspeaker grille that’s integrated into the door panel.