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Car interior upscaling through elastomers

In steps to give their car interiors an upscale, first-class look, automakers including BMW, Audi and Saab are turning in increasing numbers to the Elastollan line of aliphatic thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPUs) with soft-touch finishes from BASF Corporation (Florham Park, NJ).

In steps to give their car interiors an upscale, first-class look, automakers including BMW, Audi and Saab are turning in increasing numbers to the Elastollan line of aliphatic thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPUs) with soft-touch finishes from BASF Corporation (Florham Park, NJ).

basf

Soft-touch aliphatic TPUs provide secure base for Audi cup holders.

In North America, Elastollan TPUs are distributed with full technical support by Alliance Polymers & Services LLC (APS; Romulus, MI). According to a company spokesmen, minor premium additions on higher end automobiles provided by thermoplastic polyurethanes offer automobile designers and consumer high functionality with an appealing design and an extremely pleasant surface feel. One such grade, Elastollan AC85A, is now available in North America through APS. The processing and end performance characteristics of Elastollan AC85A aliphatic TPU open up a wide range of new possibilities to car and other designers.

In one case, the door handles found on the 3 and 5 Series of BMWs are a novel combination of ABS/PC covered/overmolded with Elastollan TPUs. The door handles stand out not only because of their extra-pleasant soft-touch surface finish, but also because they are rugged. The TPU material is sold with non-fade properties and UV finish and requires no additional surface lacquer. Other specific applications include cup holders in the Audi A6 and gear knob, hand brake and control switches in the Saab 9-3 and dashboard surfaces, center consoles and steering wheels on a variety of other makes and models.

APS is a full service warehousing, distribution, shipping and technical service organization dedicated to helping TPE, TPU and other elastomer processors with all their product and technical support needs. The firm markets and supports Polymax Elastomer Technology (Nantong, China) Maxelast TPEs in addition to BASF Elastollan TPUs. APS is unique in that they offer elastomer materials in quantities large and small (from truckloads down to drums and bags). APS works with a series of independent technical agents located in key cities and markets throughout North America.-[email protected]

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