NPE2018 New Technology Focus: Mix of New Materials
Two new families of flexible PVC compounds are spotlighted by Teknor Apex (S22045).
Apex 1523-LG Series compounds, designed for automotive window encapsulation are said to exhibit gloss levels similar to those of EPDM rubber beltline seals or glass run channels, enabling manufacturers of PVC encapsulated windows to meet OEM demand for a closer match in the surface finish of these critical appearance parts. These compounds achieve a gloss level of 3 to 4 range without need for surface treatment of the tooling. Compared to standard window encapsulation PVC compounds which are in the 9 to 12 range, Apex 1523 compounds eliminate the cost associated with tooling maintenance and repair to keep a consistent surface appearance from part-to-part. This series has several OEM approvals such as GM’s GMW-16084 spec for quarter windows and sunroofs from Chrysler.
Apex 2324A2 Series compounds are made with ingredients listed under California Proposition 65 and are said to provide similar performance to standard compounds used in indoor and outdoor building products. The eight compounds in the series have Shore A hardness ranging from 55 to 90, are opaque grades that are said to extrude well across a wide temperature range, and in some cases are suitable for co-extrusion with rigid PVC. Applications include gaskets, flexible glazing, weather-stripping, door sweeps, and other interior and exterior profiles.
Wellman Advanced Materials (S12189) is featuring the latest additions to its specialty PP line geared to automotive including:
Pret A422-G30, a 30% short glass reinforced PP that has had its first application in the U.S. with an automotive OEM in a grille-opening reinforcement panel. It boasts excellent appearance and performance.
Pret A422-LG60, is one of the company’s newest long-glass fiber PP products. Shanghai PRET has been a leader in LFT (long fiber thermoplastics) in Asia, and since its acquisition of Wellman have expanded into the North American and European markets. This material was used in the first instrument panel substrate application for a new BMW model produced here.
Arkema’s subsidiary Altuglas (S34146) is showcasing its new Plexiglas Sylk acrylic which boasts an exceptional combination of diffusion and light transmission, with maximum LED hiding power lighting and skylight/luminary applications, but also furniture, privacy partitions, and POP displays due to its soft, smooth texture and modern finish.
Altuglas will also highlighting the expansion of its Plexiglas ELiT Series acrylics positioned as a new option for larger edge-lit signs while maintaining a slim and modern appearance, as well as Altuglas LED Bloc which is changing the face of store-front signage with its thin, modern profile and ability to be used independently without the additional components previously required for signage.
For automotive, Altuglas is featuring Plexiglas HT121-LPL, a highly heat-resistant acrylic resin, formulated specifically for long path length (LPL) applications, such as signature lighting and thick lenses. In addition to the already robust optical properties, chemical resistance, and outdoor stability of Plexiglas resins, HT121-LPL is said to have much improved light transmission and heat stability, ensuring the polymer’s water-white clarity is maintained after injection molding and in its end-use application.
PolyOne is highlighting (Room S230BC) new FireCon CPE, a flame-retardant chlorinated PE for wire and cable, said to resist acids, alakalis, oils, fuels, solvents, and extreme temperatures.
Chemistry is seldom as simple as it looks. Polymer chemistry takes the complexity up a notch. Nylon chemistry is about much more than doing the math.
A thermoplastic composite technology that emerged just a couple of years ago promises to make dramatic strides within the next two years in automotive mass production of structural components.
Plastics are going “green,” but they will need some help to get there. Biodegradable polymers derived from renewable resources are attracting lots of interest and publicity, but that enthusiasm is counterbalanced by persistent questions of availability, cost, performance, and processability. All these issues are inter-related: Increasing demand will lead to more capacity, which will presumably lead to lower prices. But the foundation is market demand, which ultimately depends on whether biopolymers will have the performance properties and processability to compete with existing non-renewable plastics.