All Olefinic Interiors-What Will It Take To Happen?
TPO is getting wider acceptance for automotive applications. An exterior application like a fascia is a very good example. Interiors are still a challenge due to many reasons including overall system cost. For interior applications, “all-olefin” means it mainly consists of three materials: TPO skin, cross-linked olefinic-based foam and PP substrate. The driving force for TPO in Europe is mainly recyclability while in the USA, it is long-term durability. This paper describes the key limitations of the current TPO systems which are: poor grain retention of TPO skin, shrinkage in-consistency of the skin, high cost of priming (or other treatments) and painting of the skin, lower process window of the semi-crystalline TPO material during thermoforming or In-mold lamination / Low pressure molding, high cost of the foam, low tear strength of the foam for deep draw ratio etc.