ELPO-Capable Polyurea RRIM Advancements for Automotive Body Panels 980987
Continued development of Reinforced Reaction Injection Molding (RRIM) polyurea polymers for toughness, blister resistance and large-part processing as exterior vertical body panels has launched ELPO-compatible exterior outers into automotive assembly-line operations. This allows automotive OEM design to take advantage of the unique molding shapes for side outers and fenders while reducing weight, assembly (DFA) and time/operations costs (DFM).
Polyurea RRIM body panels have been successful in meeting the demanding auto industry requirement for lightweight, damage-resistant exterior outer panels as an economical alternative to steel. Design freedom advantages, low prototype cost and tooling savings through predictive modelling have allowed the commercial use of RRIM body panels. This high-temperature-resistant polyurea RRIM composite allows on-line painting, including passing through the steel corrosion protection primer (E-coat) cure environments. The temperatures range from 175 - 200C in the oven. This configuration of the RRIM panels, riding with the steel assembly, results in a high quality and consistent finish. RRIM panels also produce a high gloss and DOI product with long-term durability and ease of in-line repair. Having these exterior body panels pass through the ELPO lines with the complete steel assemblies also avoids costly space and time requirements, as well as “add-on” body shop space.