Brightly colored TPU for applications in automobile interiors
Bayer MaterialScience AG has commissioned GEBA Kunststoffcompounds GmbH to manufacture brightly colored compounds of the new Desmopan® aliphatic thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPU) for use in high-quality decorative components in automobile interiors. The colored TPU will be used primarily for blow molding and powder slush skins. These are mainly used on instrument panels, gloveboxes, door trims and post finishers. Our new types of TPU are lightfast and can thus be produced in bright colors. This enables us to respond to the current trend for colorful automobile interiors. We expect a sizeable increase in demand in this sector in the near future. This optimism is also based on the properties offered by the new types of TPU. Among other things, they provide good resistance to abrasion and scratching, produce soft touch surfaces and do not contain plasticizers or halogens. Thanks to their low-temperature flexibility, they represent an alternative to PVC for the manufacture of molded skins, which are used in the vicinity of airbag flaps.
GEBA, based in Ennigerloh, Germany, has made a name for itself all over the world as a compounder for a wide range of thermoplastics, particularly in the automotive and electrical engineering/electronics sectors, and is listed as an AA supplier by several industry leaders. We are reaping benefits from the expertise acquired by GEBA over many years of enhancing TPU. GEBA has at its disposal a comprehensive range of compounding units specifically designed for TPU, including an underwater pelletizer for special types of TPU. A separate production shop intended specifically for compounding the new TPU material and meeting very high cleanliness requirements recently went into operation. Another benefit is the extensive experience that GEBA has in color matching. This is particularly true for assemblies in automotive interiors whose individual components comprise a variety of thermoplastics. The experts in the in-house color laboratory have at their disposal a special formulation program and an extensive color database which enable them to achieve a level of color matching that remains constant even in different lighting conditions.