A new high-clarity, high-gloss, non-stress-whitening olefin capstock material can be directly co-extruded onto polyethylene (PE), creating sheets with a painted plastics appearance for a cost-effective, decorative, and durable thermoformed product. A. Schulman Inc. (Akron, OH) says its Invision 3570 resin enhances the appearance and performance of high-molecular-weight polyethylene (HMWPE) at a lower cost and lighter weight than extrusion capped acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) and thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) sheet, or acrylic and fluoroacrylic laminated sheet.
|At left, a thermoformed part consisting of a monolayer HMWPE, with Invision 3570 cap resin technology for improved gloss and appearance on the right.|
In addition to the high-gloss and color performance, Invision 3570 targets markets ranging from heavy truck to marine, power sports, and recreational and agricultural vehicles. The materials have a minimum rating of 75 in the 60 degree Gardner Gloss test, placing them roughly four times higher than HMWPE alone. The material remains ductile to -40°C, and compared to ABS and TPO, Invision is approximately 10%-20% lighter.
Allowing OEMs to replace painted metals and plastics, Invision promotes a reduction in volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions, while also allowing recyclability and weight savings, which boosts fuel efficiency in vehicles. "[Lower VOCs] are a primary driver," for the new grade according to Smith. "With Invision, people can eliminate secondary operations like painting or coating." —Tony Deligio