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Technical Paper

Separation of Non-Metallic Contaminants in Fluxless Melting and Refining of Magnesium Alloys

Recent growth in automotive applications of magnesium die cast alloys has made the refining and recycling of magnesium scrap a key issue for the automotive and magnesium industries, if growth is to continue. Today, with only a few exceptions, commercially refined and recycled alloy is produced using a variety of flux-based processes. However, fluxless refining, has been the focus of growing interest, particularly for the in-house refining of scrap by the die cast producers. This paper summarizes the results of a study conducted to better understand the behavior of non-metallic contaminants in scrap melts and the requirements for their separation, using argon sparging. Brightness measurements were used to experimentally determine the distribution of non-metallic contaminants within scrap melts both before and after argon treatment.
Technical Paper

SPS Crystalline Polymer: A New Material for Automotive Interconnect Systems

Syndiotactic Polystyrene (SPS) is a new semi-crystalline polymer under development by Dow Plastics. The material is completely different from conventional styrenics in structure, physical properties and synthetic method, and represents the basis for an entirely new family of materials based on crystalline polystyrene. SPS has a melting point of 270°C (520°F) combined with excellent resistance to moisture and automotive fluids. Additionally, SPS products exhibit exceptional electrical performance and competitive toughness and stiffness. A wide range of products have been formulated for specific applications including impact-modified and glass-reinforced grades. This paper was designed to discuss the performance attributes of SPS as they relate to use of this material in automotive, interconnect systems where a combination of heat resistance, chemical resistance, dimensional stability and enhanced processability are required.
Technical Paper

New Developments in Low Density RIM Composites for Interior Trim

The use of low density reinforced Reaction Injection Molded (RIM) substrates for covered interior automotive articles continues to increase globally. Reduced party mass, consolidation of manufacturing steps (labor), and the use of aluminum tooling, instead of steel, are cited advantages that LD-RIM offers when compared to traditional wood based and thermoplastic materials. Two RIM processes are successfully being used to produce covered interior door panels. Low density structural RIM (LD-SRIM), utilizing conventional RIM equipment, involves the placement of a pre-cut fiberglass mat in the tool cavity prior to open-pour injection of the 2-stream liquid urethane components. Low density reinforced RIM (LD-RRIM), utilizing lance cylinder RIM equipment, incorporates reinforcing fibers, such as milled fiberglass or wollastonite, in the liquid resin component. The liquid resin containing reinforcing filler is injected with the isocyanate component into a closed mold.
Technical Paper

Syndiotactic Polystyrene: A New Polymer for High Performance Automotive Applications

Syndiotactic potystyrene (SPS) is a new semi-crystalline polymer under development by Dow Plastics, a business group of The Dow Chemical Company. The material is differentiated from conventional styrenic polymers in terms of microstructure and physical properties and represents the basis for an entirely new family of materials derived from crystalline polystyrene. SPS exhibits excellent thermal performance with a melting point of 270° C (520° F) combined with resistance to moisture and automotive fluids. Products produced from SPS demonstrate exceptional electrical performance, low specific gravity, competitive toughness and high modulus relative to other semi-crystalline engineering polymers. A wide range of products have been formulated including impact modified and glass reinforced resins for use in specific markets.
Technical Paper

A Recyclability Evaluation of Automotive Interior Components

The American public's desire to recycle and the predictions of future recycle mandates are motivating automotive OEMs and plastic suppliers to address the recycling of plastic materials. As a result, the OEMs and plastic industry groups have asked resin suppliers, automotive dismantlers and reprocessors to assist them in studying and developing solutions for the recovery of post-consumer automotive plastics and recycling those materials back into automotive applications. The Dow Chemical Company has been a participant in plastic industry sponsored projects and has initiated numerous research and development activities involving the recycling of automotive thermoplastic and thermoset materials, as well.
Technical Paper

Recycling Plastic Scrap in SRIM Composites

The objective of this paper will be to review a novel recycle process involving Structural Reaction Injection Molding(SRIM) which enables a variety of coarsely ground plastic recycle materials to be incorporated into the molded part. What makes this approach novel, is that flexural modulus of the fabricated parts are actually increased when the recycled granulate is employed in the part. This paper will present data for the recycle of a variety of automotive parts, including painted fascia, door skins, covered interior door panels, armrests and instrument panels along with composite bumper beams into the SRIM recycle core process. Resulting part economics will be reviewed along with potential applications to utilize this technology.
Technical Paper

Acoustical Evaluation of Automotive Headliner Composites with Various Adhesive Systems

Adhesive materials are required to bond cover fabrics to most molded interior headliner substrates. Several thermoplastic adhesive films are qualified and used at U.S. and Japanese OEM's. These adhesive films offer benefits such as convenience, cost effectiveness, excellent adhesive performance and process efficiency while reducing concerns of emissions and hazardous waste handling compared to prior bonding methods. The automotive headliner part is a multifunctional component of the vehicle's interior trim. One of the main headliner functions is to reduce the interior cabin noise. Various adhesive materials are used in a lamination process to form a composite headliner. The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of this lamination process and various alternative adhesive materials on the overall acoustical performance of the headliner composite. Various headliner samples were fabricated under controlled process conditions and tested by an independent acoustics testing lab.
Technical Paper

Magnesium Refining: A Fluxless Alternative

A method for refining magnesium scrap which produces consistent, high quality magnesium metal has been developed. High quality magnesium metal is defined in this paper as metal which has heavy metal contaminants controlled within high-purity ASTM chemical specification, and is relatively free of internal impurities such as non-metallic inclusions (oxides and flux) and dissolved gas. The refining process utilizes a protective gas atmosphere, inert gas sparging and filtration techniques, rather than salt based fluxes, to remove both non-metallic inclusions and dissolved gases. Experimentation results of this refining process indicate magnesium scrap can be remelted and refined to a quality equal to or better than virgin ingot, without the introduction of salt based fluxes or a large capital investment.
Technical Paper

Design and Application of Thermoplastic Adhesive Films for Headliner Composites

The construction of most automotive interior headliners requires an adhesive material to bond polyurethane foam-backed fabric to a molded headliner shell. More than ten years ago, The Dow Chemical Company qualified and began supplying a thermoplastic adhesive polymer film for headliner applications which replaced wet adhesive systems at several fabricators. DAF 899 adhesive film has gained acceptance in the industry due to excellent performance, convenience, and cost effectiveness without additional waste handling or volatile organic emission concerns. Recent advancements in headliner design such as additional recessed areas with more demanding contours, new substrate materials and the desire for more efficient operations created an opportunity to design improved adhesive films to meet the emerging industry demands.
Technical Paper

Development of Thermoplastic Polyurethane/ABS Blends for Flexible Automotive Bumper Fascia

Thermoplastic polyurethane/ABS blends are being developed by The Dow Chemical Company to meet the high performance requirements for flexible bumper fascia. Features of these blends include paintability without priming, excellent low temperature impact after painting, good heat resistance, and lower specific gravity than other high performance thermoplastic materials. Thermoplastic polyurethane/ABS blends also have excellent flow properties, which will allow large, complex parts with thin walls to be molded easily.
Technical Paper

The Dow Magnesium Analytical Spectrographic Standards Program

With the introduction of high purity corrosion resistant magnesium alloys and also the re-emphasis of quality products throughout the industrial world, the need for more accurate and more reproducible analysis between laboratories has become apparent. The availability of high quality analytical standards was one of the principle obstacles to achieving analytical agreement between laboratories. This presentation briefly reviews what until recently was available to the industry and their customers with respect to analytical methods and analytical standards and their limitations in today's quality conscious world. The development of a new series of die cast magnesium standards by The Dow Chemical Company is also described in this paper including their compositional design considerations relating to the selection of the modern direct reading emission spectrometer as the analytical instrument of choice.
Technical Paper

Dow Magnesium-An SQC Success Story

New efforts to improve quality control through the use of Statistical Quality Control techniques were introduced to the Dow Magnesium Extraction Process. All the employees in the magnesium plants were trained in the Statistical Quality Control procedures. Successful application has lead to improved chemical purity and reduced variability in the feed process. These improvements were followed by better reduction cell operation, improvements in alloying and casting operations. Consistent quality, high purity magnesium alloys are now available for use in automotive applications.