SBC-based interior material

  • 08-Nov-2010 03:12 EST

Kraton Performance Polymers and SO.F.TER. partnered to develop a styrenic block copolymer (SBC) -based alternative for slush-molded interior soft skins, which is a more environmentally friendly option to polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPUs). Slush molding is a specialized processing operation traditionally designed for PVC-based compounds to produce the interior surface of automobiles, such as instrument panel skins, door panels, airbags, and consoles. The SBC-based alternative offers manufacturers the ability to achieve improvements in low-temperature performance, fogging, and recyclability while still using existing slush-molding equipment and standard processing conditions. An additional benefit is lowered manufacturing costs due to reduced service temperatures and decreased processing time. According to Kraton, the new product provides a 30 to 40% reduction in material weight, better aging properties, and improved soft touch compared to existing materials. These benefits help automotive manufacturers reduce the weight of vehicle components, while still enhancing aesthetics and performance. Pictured is an example of a slush-molded interior soft skin application.

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