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AUTOMOTIVE SURFACES | INNOVATION


used for a variety of purposes.” The company, noting that it has more than


ten years of experience in the field of glass-like exterior parts, says that by combining its film and glazing technologies, it has devised a study for an innovative front module that offers solutions for many requirements of the automo- tive industry. It presented the concept simultane- ously at Fakuma and the International Suppliers Fair (IZB) for the automotive industry in Wolfsburg, Germany (home of Volkswagen).


Grilles are going “The front section of future automobiles will be characterized by three-dimensional, jointless and glass-like surfaces – the classic radiator grille will be obsolete,” says Stefan Schulten, Segment Manager Automotive in the specialty films segment at Covestro and responsible for the Europe, Middle East and Africa region. “It is not only the desire of car manufacturers to differentiate their models from the competition by designing them as individually as possible. It is also about integrating more and more functions in ever less space.” The front section can already be designed in a


variety of ways using a variety of decorated or semi-transparent films. In addition, there are, for example, lighting and signal functions such as those required for communication between an autonomous vehicle and pedestrians. One special variant is the black panel technology, in which a


According to KraussMaffei, there


are now more than 20 ColorForm systems in the field, with processors carrying out product development, and at research institutes and mould makers. He points out that the complete system is produced by KraussMaffei – the injection moulding machine and the polyure- thane processing equipment – with supervision and control of all aspects of the process via a single MC6 controller.


Lachner also points out that the


polyurethane and polyurea systems developed for the process (by Panadur for the original polyurea system and by Votteler and Ruehl for PUR systems that came later) all work without the need for an external mould release. He says this is a particularly important aspect for obtaining adoption at injection mould-


www.injectionworld.com


ing companies, which are generally not used to working with external mould release, unlike their counterparts in polyurethane processing. Despite the use of a reactive


polyurethane system, cycle times below the magic one-minute barrier can be obtained. Systems, both for


special Makrofol polycarbonate film with a light source behind it is illuminated. When switched off, passers-by see only a matt, black surface. The structure of the front module prototype consists of a film printed with a colourful motif, for example the company logo, depending on custom- er requirements. This composite is then over- moulded with transparent Makrolon AG polycar- bonate using IMD or what Covestro terms film insert moulding technology (FIM). “The flat surface and the depth effect of the polycarbonate create a glass-like appearance,” it says. “Besides that, a three-dimensional effect is generated, despite the use of a flat Makrofol film.” A transparent, scratch- resistant silicone hard-coating is also applied as the outermost layer.


At specialist ink and lacquer producer Pröll, Marketing Communication Manager Stefan Zäh


Door part shows the high gloss achieved with KraussMaffei’s ColorForm technology


Clearmelt and ColorForm, can be produced with self-healing proper- ties, which means that, for example, micro-scratches incurred when a car goes through a car wash disappear shortly afterwards. Earlier this year, styrenic poly- mers major Ineos Styrolution said its Luran S KR 2864C, a type of acrylonitrile-styrene-acrylate (ASA), had been selected by an unnamed leading global car manufacturer for a windscreen A pillar body trim in the first commercial application of


this material with ColorForm. Ineos Styrolution says the grade has enhanced heat resistance and the best chemical resistance among ASA grades. ASA is already well-known for its high weather resistance – some- times being described as “outdoor ABS”.


November/December 2018 | INJECTION WORLD 19


Back-moulded HVAC front panel, unlit and back-lit


PHOTO: PRÖLL


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