The need in the automotive industry for selective application of plastics for exterior panels requires the development of materials that are E-coat capable and are compatible with steel assembly processes. Such successful developments have been achieved with both polyurea RIM and engineering thermoplastics. Molded parts are economically competitive with steel, can withstand temperatures in excess of 400°F for extended periods of time, and do not require any fastening techniques other than those currently used for steel parts. In addition, the material has excellent physical properties and dimensional stability.
This paper reviews this development and will give a status report on this technology.