Material and Process Options in Pre-Colored Soft Interior Thermoplastics 2001-01-0315
Contemporary interior designs make increasing use of soft feel and color harmony to provide a more luxurious and attractive environment for the driver and passengers. At the same time, progress in part manufacturing methods has increased the need for materials designed to work well in a variety of processes, such as injection molding, extrusion, blow molding, rotational molding and others.
The focus of this paper will be on materials which are pre-colored to match OEM standards and are therefore capable of producing “ready-to-install” components without expensive post-operations like painting. The materials discussed will be in the 55–90 Shore A hardness range typically preferred by designers today, thereby avoiding the undesirable hard, “plastic” impression some other materials require as a trade-off.
Plasticized PVC is often used in these applications for its good balance of performance and cost. This paper will also cover alternate materials for designs where multiple material compatibility, part performance or non-technical reasons favor other selections.