Development of Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU) Powder Slush Material for Interior Parts 2002-01-0312
Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) Powder Slush material for automotive interior parts, like instrument panels and door trim was developed as an alternative material for polyvinyl chloride (PVC) Powder Slush.
Generally, TPU has poor anti-alcohol performance. However this performance has to be improved for automotive interior parts because the common cleaner solvent for interior parts usually contains some type of alcohol. Through our study of various TPU formulas, sufficient anti-alcohol performance was achieved by introducing aromatic polyol.
Due to negative effects of aromatic polyol for low temperature and melting properties, additional study for plasticizer was essential. These properties are important for air bag deployment performance and moldability of powder slush. In order to solve these problems, various types and amounts of plasticizer were studied. Benzoic ester produced the best balance between compatibility with urethane polymer and anti-fogging performance.
Moreover, the powdering process is also a key technology in the development of TPU powder. The shape and diameter of the powder were optimized by polymerization in an aqueous dispersion process rather than the conventional powdering method of cryogenic grinding.
Interior automotive parts that use this TPU slush powder met our vehicle requirements and were introduced on TOYOTA'S flagship cars CELSIOR and LEXUS LS430 in 2000.