Lemfoerde, Germany - Car maker BMW is using a new IMC (in-mould coating) sprayed polyurethane skin for instrument panels on its BMW 5 series, which offers wide design freedom, according to developer Elastogran.
"With our PU systems, we achieve a high-quality interior look and a particularly pleasant feel," said Dr Thomas Bartz, head of the European Business Unit Automotive at Elastogran. Elastoskin sprayed skin "fulfils the demanding standards of interior design," he added, saying that the instrument panel covering is highly influential in the perception of quality and design.
Discussing the latest BMW 5 series, Karl Niebauer, head of pre-development in interior technology at BMW's Landshut site, describes why the group opted for the IMC sprayed skin: "Using the PUR-IMC technology, we are also reinforcing our entire in-house competence, all the way from the design stage of surface coverings right up to the pre-assembly phase."
A convincing 'feel' is a special advantage of Elastoskin: both its touch and its performance under pressure withstand the strictest criteria and give a soft, pleasant surface.
This is supported by a foam backing of semi-hard Elastoflex E. "The multilevel structure of the IMC sprayed skin allows for an exact definition of the characteristics" said Cord Schmalkuche, Elastogran's head of development for compact PU Systems. "The PU skin considerably defines the mechanical characteristics."
The PU system also offers good processing, including very good demouldability, high resistance to ageing and exact reproducibility of contours. Colour shading and integration of additional construction units during spraying are also possible.
Another advantage is low emissions. "The spraying process using an aromatic PU system clearly produces lower emissions than comparable procedures. Moreover, it offers outstanding surface quality and this during a high degree of freedom in the implementation of complex geometry," said Schmalkuche.