Leverkusen, Germany -- Bayer MaterialScience and fischer automotive systems GmbH have jointly developed a new 'DirectSkinning' production process with aliphatic polyurethane to produce decorative panels for automotive interiors, a BMS statement said 26 Jan.
The new process, designed to create light-coloured, UV- and scratch-resistant surfaces, is now being employed for the series production of the BMW 5 Gran Turismo. The decorative panel seals off a kinematic drawer on the dashboard of the vehicle, the statement added.
"Our joint project demonstrates that DirectSkinning is ready for series production and can be used to manufacture injection mouldings with high-quality decorative polyurethane surfaces for vehicle interiors," said Michael Baumeister, head of production and logistics at fischer's Horb, Germany, plant.
The panel, which is produced in five colours, uses an approximately 1.4 mm-thick covering based on the BMS Bayflex LS (Light Stable) PU system, developed specially for the DirectSkinning process, BMS said. The panel's thermoplastic substrate consists of the heat- and impact-resistant PC/ABS (polycarbonate/acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene) blend Bayblend T85, the statement said.
"DirectSkinning technology combines injection moulding of thermoplastics with the reaction injection moulding (RIM) process for polyurethane processing," said Andreas Bürkle, who is in charge of the DirectSkinning project at fischer automotive. "The coated component is produced directly on the injection-moulding machine in a single mould (multiple moulds are also possible) in a process that is comparable to multi-component injection moulding," he said.
Bürkle said that after manufacturing of the thermoplastic substrate, the polyurethane system is injected into the closed mould via a polyurethane mixing head and the thermoplastic surface is then coated, adding that "when a rotary table or swivel platen mould is used, the two production steps can be performed in parallel, for example, thus ensuring short cycle times and high productivity."
"Our polyurethane systems meet the growing demand for light colours in vehicle interiors as they deliver lasting UV resistance and colour fastness. They also give the surfaces a high level of scratch and abrasion resistance," added Gregor Murlowski, a PU expert at BMS. (RD)