Leverkusen, Germany --- Bayer MaterialScience has purchased thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPU) related intellectual property rights from Collins & Aikman (C&A), in a bid to extend its portfolio for TPU moulded skins. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.
BMS said in a 6 Feb statement that the TPU "size-reduction technologies" developed by C&A were a critical factor in the decision to buy. The "micro-" and "mini-beading" methods lend powder particles a specific shape and a size distribution that enables superior flow in the mould during the melting process, added the company.
TPU grades produced using the size-reduction method are used in slush moulding (sintering), a technique in which BMS holds a wide range of patents.
The aliphatic formulations are lightfast and therefore do not discolour over time when exposed to UV light. According to BMS, they do not have to be post-painted or in-mould coated, thus saving OEMs and part manufacturers the outlay and expense of applying a coating to the finished instrument panels and interior parts.
"By acquiring C&A's know-how, BMS can now provide a material technology that is deployed in a series of OEM applications for moulded skins in car instrument panels." said BMS, in the statement.
"The new TPU formulation in our portfolio offers superior mechanical properties, including excellent scratch resistance. At the same time it is providing a nice leather-like feel. The long-term heat resistance of TPU is also superior to most alternative materials," added the company.
BMS said that it is now looking to offer TPU products in the form of a coloured powder that exactly matches the interior colours specified by the OEM.