Browse Publications Technical Papers 1999-01-0361
1999-03-01

Glossy, Weatherable, Molded-in-Color Resins for Automotive Exterior Applications 1999-01-0361

The global automotive industry continues to seek options for producing attractive, durable, and cost-effective solutions for body exterior applications by processes other than traditional painting.
Molded-in-color resins are emerging as contenders for these applications, since they are glossy, durable and maintain their appearance over time and use. While paint is a contaminant to plastics recycling, these resins are readily recyclable. As a thermoplastic alloy, it can be recycled (reprocessed) in two ways, (1) as a same-color regrind addition to molding, or (2) converted into a base recolored option (e.g. black or gray) by compounding mixed-color scrap with a black pigment.
The use of molded-in-color resins should provide a range of environmental and consumer benefits, including:
  • Reduced environmental impact
  • Color and gloss match to painted metal
  • Through-part color for improved long-term durability and appearance
  • Cost reduction
  • Recyclability
A 1st generation weatherable alloy was originally commercialized to provide most of these benefits but required a surface texture to achieve adequate scratch resistance.
A new generation Surlyn® supergloss alloy is being selectively commercialized to provide all the 1st generation benefits with a glossy, scratch-resistant show surface.
Applications under development include bumper fascias, truck wheel lip moldings, body side moldings and claddings, exterior mirror housings and grilles. While most development is focused on conventional injection-molding processes, co-injection molding technology and sheet thermoforming technology and processes are under selective evaluation.

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