Elix Polymers presents plating portfolio developments at automotive engineering event

Elix Polymers is cooperating with the main producers of plating chemicals as it develops resins optimized for use with chromium 6-free technologies.

Elix Polymers will present the latest developments in its portfolio of chrome-plateable ABS-based materials at PIAE, the Plastics in Automotive Engineering congress in Mannheim, Germany on April 3 and 4 this year.

The company recently commissioned a study to compare its Elix Ultra HH4115PG plateable ABS/PC (an acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) resin modified with polycarbonate) with the benchmark plateable product under Volkswagen specification TL528-B. The tests, carried out at the Kunststoff-Institut Lüdenscheid, produced similar results for both materials; each showed adhesion values clearly over the requirements.

The plastics institute carried out a roll peeling test (DIN 53 494), climate change tests (PV 1200) and a cross-cut test (TL528). But while the test results are similar, Elix Ultra HH4115PG is 3% less dense, it has better flow properties, and can be processed at lower temperatures. Elix Polymers will have full details of the test results available on its stand at PIAE.

Elix Polymers’ Elix ABS P2MC, a benchmark plateable ABS in Europe, is already approved at many OEMs and is used by customers around the world. A high-heat version, Elix ABS HHP2MC, was launched in 2016. For applications where even higher temperature resistance or impact strength is required, Ultra HH4115PG offers advantages over grades of PC modified with ABS in terms of processability, lightweighting and costs.

All three grades have special formulations dedicated to electroplating process requirements. To ensure Class A surfaces, the company has put in place a process of intensive quality control and selection of intermediate products. Elix Polymers is now developing a new plateable ABS/PC with even better flow, for very demanding parts.

Approvals for Elix UltraHH4115PG have been achieved at Renault-Nissan (PMR2019), Daimler (DBL 5404.AA77), and General Motors (GMW15581P-ABS + PC-T7). More approvals are in the process of being obtained.

Elix Polymers is cooperating with the main producers of plating chemicals as it develops resins optimized for use with chromium 6-free technologies (inhaled chromium 6 – also known as hexavalent chromium – is a human carcinogen), in order to ensure that plated plastic parts continue to have the highest possible quality. ’'It is important that all involved parties – plating chemistry producer, resin producer, Tier, OEM – all work together in the early development phase,” says Fabian Herter, Marketing Manager Automotive & ABS Specialties.

Last November, Elix Polymers participated in the “Chrome 2030 – the future of plating on plastics in the Automotive Industry” conference organized by “Fachverband Galvanisierte Kunststoffe (FGK) in Stuttgart, where the latest authorization status, experience of alternative chromium conditioning and plating systems, progress results and technology comparisons were all discussed.

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