Inteva Products LLC (Troy, MI) is commercializing its slush cast thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) formulation through compounder and distributor, A. Schulman Inc. (Akron, OH), offering cheaper, lighter, non-vinyl options for automotive interiors. Called Invision SLX, the patented technology reportedly offers cost savings up to 50% compared to non-PVC alternatives, as well as mass reductions of 20%-45%, and reduced odor, cabin fogging, color fading, surface inconsistencies, squeak, and rattle. A. Schulman, which is exhibiting at K in hall 8A, stand D 12, says Invision SLX targets a range of interior systems and components in land, marine, commercial, recreational equipment, and automotive. Potential applications include instrument panels, consoles, glove boxes, door panels, knee bolsters, interior trim, and air bag doors.
Originally developed for PVC-based materials, slush-molding produces skins that can conform to tight angles and offer rich detail for vehicle interior surfaces. Inteva has worked more than four years to develop alternative materials. In 2008, Inteva won the materials category at the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) Automotive Innovation Awards for the first TPO/TPE slush-molded instrument panel manufactured in North America. Created for General Motors and the Saab 9-7X SUV, the company announced at the time that the patented technology had been licensed to A. Schulman.