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Injection molding materials can reportedly help OEMs and parts suppliers reduce costs by as much as 50 percent by avoiding secondary operations such as applying soft paint, fabric, foam or other surface coverings.

Stephen Moore

May 21, 2018

2 Min Read
Sabic  debuts new portfolio of PP compounds for soft feel in automotive interiors

Sabic has unveiled a portfolio of polypropylene (PP) compounds that are said to deliver a soft feel combined with excellent scratch performance in unpainted, low-gloss automotive interior components. The new Sabic PP compounds reportedly offer the luxurious haptics and finishes that today’s consumers demand – even in lower-priced vehicles.

Steering column cover in Tata’s Tiago hatchback employs a soft PP compound from Sabic.

At the same time, these injection molding materials can reportedly help automotive OEMs and tiers reduce costs by as much as 50 percent by avoiding secondary operations such as applying soft paint, fabric, foam or other surface coverings.

“Elegance, comfort and quiet in automotive interiors are becoming increasingly important to buyers of vehicles at all price points,” said Scott Fallon, global Automotive leader, Sabic. “[We] engineered these new PP compounds to address this demand by helping manufacturers deliver an interior environment that connotes luxury while controlling costs. Our customers can benefit from the outstanding aesthetics and value this innovative material technology provides.”

In addition to a soft tactile feel, Sabic PP compounds provide an attractive matte surface with excellent scratch resistance, good impact performance and low shrinkage. The Sabic materials also deliver good sound damping capability to help create a quiet cabin environment. The portfolio, which is available globally, includes several grades of short glass fiber-reinforced PP to give customers a choice of stiffness level and material density. The materials are also UV-stabilized to prevent fading and color shift.

Possible applications where this material can be used include interior trims, seat and console side cladding, glove boxes, door panels and other similar interior components. Sabic PP compounds allow these types of parts to be efficiently manufactured using only one high-volume injection molding step.

Leading Indian automaker, Tata Motors, is the first automotive manufacturer to use one of the Sabic PP compounds in vehicle interior applications. Tata Motors selected a Sabic PP compound to mold parts with a soft feel and high-end appearance in the steering column cover and speedometer cluster top for its 2017 Tiago hatchback. The company eliminated the need for expensive paint systems, saving about 30 percent, while achieving the same level of performance and aesthetics.

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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