By Chris Smith, European Plastics News
Friedrichshafen, Germany -- A two-component production technology providing high-quality soft-touch automotive interior surfaces with outstanding UV resistance direct from the mould was being shown by Fischer Automotive Systems GmbH at the Bayer MaterialScience AG exhibit at the Fakuma trade show.
Developed jointly between Fischer, BMS, Krauss-Maffei and car maker BMW, the new direct skinning process technology is expected to go into commercial production during next year.
Understood to be a variant of Krauss-Maffei's SkinForm process, direct skinning integrates reaction injection molding of aliphatic PU resins with traditional thermoplastic injection molding.
According to Fischer, the two-component process offers car makers a number of advantages in terms of quality and price.
"The low viscosity enables the use of geometries which existing methods could never allow. The UV resistance allows the components to be exposed to direct sunlight," the company claims.
Fischer says that, compared to conventional painting processes, the Direct Skinning system delivers a higher surface quality, improved abrasion resistance, shorter production cycles, and improved production economics.
The company displayed an interior trim element for an automotive dash board at the Fakuma show. It sees applications in areas such as instrument panel covers, center console and door trim, storage compartment lids and other multifunctional components.
Fischer Automotive Systems specialises in kinematic interior components such as moving drawers, lids and covers. The company is headquartered in Horb, Germany, and has additional manufacturing operations in the US, the Czech Republic and China.
The company is a subsidiary of the privately-owned Euro 560-million ($838-million) turnover Fischer Group, which has around 3800 employees worldwide.