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A leading supplier of interior and exterior automotive parts has selected a new ABS/polycarbonate blend from Elix Polymers for the production of exterior pillar covers to be used in an upcoming, premium class car from a well-known German manufacturer.

Stephen Moore

June 23, 2017

2 Min Read
Low density, heat-resistant ABS/PC grade adopted for automotive exterior pillar cover

Maier S. Coop., based in Vizcaya, Spain, is using Elix Ultra HH4115HI in a two-component part that combines an acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene/polycarbonate (ABS/PC) alloy with a polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) resin.

The central pillar cover is a technically highly demanding component that forms part of a complex assembly with other components. Elix Ultra HH 4115 HI was chosen in particular for its high strength and temperature resistance, and for its low density. The technical departments of Maier and Elix Polymers worked intensively together to find the best possible solution and optimize the injection conditions of the parts (one on each side of the car).

Leading molder Maier uses new ABS/PC from Elix Polymers for exterior pillar cover.

Elix Ultra HH4115HI ABS/PC, which was introduced late last year, has several advantages over PC/ABS alloys. These advantages include a 5% lower density (1.07 g/cm³ vs. 1.13 g/cm³), as well as low emissions and odor (VDA 278 VOC = 8 / FOG = 3 ppm, VDA 270 = 3.0).

Furthermore, its high flow rate (MVR is 14 cm³/10 min. under 5 kg force at 260°C) helps to reduce cycle times, thereby increasing productivity. A further advantage is its very high impact strength (58 kJ/m² at 23°C, 41 kJ/m² at -30°C, according to ISO 180-1A). In addition, significant cost savings are reportedly possible thanks to its improved paintability versus PC/ABS, which leads to a reduced scrap rate.

Puncture impact behavior tests carried out according to ISO 6603-2 confirm the very good performance of Elix Ultra HH4115HI at different temperatures for crash-relevant parts, such as the exterior pillar covers produced by Maier, and also for interior trim and parts that may be subject to knee or head impacts. The appearance and structure of fractures caused in tests has been evaluated very positively by several premium car manufacturers.

Elix Polymers foresees a wide range of applications for this innovative material, including door panel parts, instrument panel parts, center console trim, seat parts, luggage compartment trim, and both interior and exterior pillar covers. As with other grades from Elix Polymers, materials pre-colored to OEM specifications are possible, in addition to tailor-made solutions with special additive packages for very demanding part and environmental requirements.

Elix Ultra HH4115HI has been tested and approved at several automotive OEMs. Among them, Audi noted its low emissions and odor and considers the material to be very interesting for lower instrument panel parts, center console parts, and door panel parts according to its TL 52231 specification. BMW has approved it under its GS 93016 specification, and some initial serial projects are now running. GM has approved Ultra HH4115HI under GMW 15572-T4, and Daimler has approved it under DBL 5404 AA83.

About the Author(s)

Stephen Moore

Stephen has been with PlasticsToday and its preceding publications Modern Plastics and Injection Molding since 1992, throughout this time based in the Asia Pacific region, including stints in Japan, Australia, and his current location Singapore. His current beat focuses on automotive. Stephen is an avid folding bicycle rider, often taking his bike on overseas business trips, and is a proud dachshund owner.

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