Leverkusen, Germany - Bayer MaterialScience AG and Faurecia have developed a new reaction-injection-moulding (RIM) process, which enables the production of brightly coloured, light-stable polyurethane skins for instrument panels, armrests, centre consoles, and door trims, said BMS.
Bayer claims in its 12 Oct statement that the process enables wall thickness to be determined accurately, allowing rip seams for concealed airbags to be created with absolute precision. The RIM process also prevents material build-up, the company said.
The aliphatic RIM skin, which uses Bayer's Bayflex LS (light stable) PU material, and is produced in a one-step process, is a cheaper alternative to both the polyurethane spray-on-skin technology and the in-mould coating (IMC) RIM process, said BMS, in the statement.
"We envisage huge potential for this application," said Gregor Murlowski, a PU skins expert in Bayers's Polyurethanes Business Unit, in the statement. "Depending on the component being manufactured, we anticipate that this process will be up to 50 percent faster than polyurethane spray-on skin technology," he added.
Bayflex LS is based on a UV-resistant, aliphatic polyisocyanate, which means that it can be pigmented in bright colours. The material was chosen for the RIM skins because of its good elongation at break, feel and scratch-resistant properties. ss