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Posted by Staff
June 21, 2023
2 Min Read
Chesky_W/iStock via Getty Images
Elix Polymers has developed speciality grades of acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) and polycarbonate (PC)/ABS compounds that minimize the squeaking and rattling sounds generated by plastic parts coming in contact with other plastic parts, leather, PVC skins, or other materials. These noises can negatively affect the driver’s comfort as well as the perception of a car's quality.
With the increase in popularity of electric and hybrid vehicles whose powertrains make less noise, anti-squeak materials are more often required by automotive OEMs to produce critical interior parts such as door handles, armrests, seating components, sunroofs, cupholders, and air vents. Several Elix products have received approvals from a German premium automotive OEM and will be used in future cars.
The materials were subjected to stick-slip tests according to VDA230-206 using testing machines from Ziegler Instruments. On a scale of one to 10, where 10 is the highest risk level, the newly developed Elix grades scored one, the lowest risk level. Tests were conducted with different forces (10° and 40°N) and speeds (1° and 4°mm/s) at several temperatures. Successful results notably were obtained after heat aging of materials, where the risk normally increases in standard non-modified materials.
The new grades use Elix Polymers’ base polymers — standard and high-heat ABS, ABS/PC or PC/ABS — and because their key properties remain the same, existing OEM approvals of Elix grades are not affected. Furthermore, as the shrinkage of the materials remains the same, existing tooling can be used without further need for modifications.
Significant cost savings are also possible using these products, as no felt, tape, or grease needs to be added after the injection and assembly of parts to reduce squeaking and rattling sounds.
This new development is the result of Elix Polymers’ close partnership with leading automotive OEMs and its strategy directed at focusing on specialized added-value materials and the development of tailor-made solutions.
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