Browse Publications Technical Papers 1999-01-1019
1999-03-01

New Skin for Instrument Panel: SLUSH TPO 1999-01-1019

The slush molding process is still used by various automotive suppliers to produce dashboard skins. This skin production process allows freestyle for the conception of dashboards. In this process, PVC is still mainly used.
Plastic Omnium Auto Interior has developed a TPO formulation for the slush molding process to replace the PVC material. This TPO formulation is based on an alloy of different polyolefins. This alloy is produced by a compounding operation and then the pellets obtained are cryogenically grinded to get a powder, or micropelletized under water but still under development.
The TPO slush molding skin has to be lacquered to reach the automotive industry requirements: good heat resistance or color rubbing resistance, for example.
To be environmentally friendly, Plastic Omnium Auto Interior developed a water based coating system in partnership with coating suppliers.
To get a good adhesion between the skin and the foam, Plastic Omnium Auto Interior tested different solutions: cold nitrogen plasma treatment, water based primer spraying and two layers skin. Because we do the formulation in house, we can also propose different alloys to reach accurate specifications. For example, a specific formulation for the seamless airbag requirements is under development.

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