The instrument panel and pillar covers in Ford Motor Co.’s 2005 Freestar minivan utilize two new TPOs that are said to perform better than previous materials.
The instrument panel and pillar covers in Ford Motor Co.’s 2005 Freestar minivan utilize two new TPOs that are said to perform better than previous materials. First, Adflex KEO51P from Basell Polyolefins, Elkton, Md., is used in the A, B, B lower, and C and D upper pillars. Its reportedly superior low-temperature impact strength allowed Ford to replace two older TPOs with one grade. This material is produced with Basell’s Catalloy process, which can make tailored products with up to 80% elastomer. KE051P has a 10 MFR, flex modulus of 118,900 psi, and notched Izod impact strength of 52 kJ/m2 at 23 C and 8 kJ/m2 at -40 C. This natural grade is colored at the press. Second, Basell’s new Hostacom XFBR712A is used in the instrument-panel substrate, where it is said to provide the performance of an engineering plastic and the processability of a polyolefin. “Painted IPs have been molded in PC/ABS, which creates processing challenges and is not as cost-competitive,” says Basell senior v.p. Steve Dwyer. It has 6 MFR, 58 Shore D hardness, flex modulus of 261,000 psi, and notched Izod impact strength of 34 kJ/m2 at 23 C and 3 kJ/m2 at -40 C. Its HDT is 212 F at 66 psi and 131 F at 264 psi. This TPO boasts excellent chemical resistance, and “buzz-and-squeak” performance. It’s also touted for its easy weldability, which allows reduced part complexity while increasing overall stiffness.