Interior & Exterior Components
Polypropylene (PP) and TPO are used extensively for interior and exterior automotive components such as bumper fascia, instrument panels, trim panels, and flexible skins. Light stability is essential, as these parts must meet industry requirements for weatherability. Systems based on hindered amine light stabilizers (HALS) have been developed to meet the requirements of both interior and exterior applications.
Automotive PP and TPO compounds must also meet mechanical property requirements set by OEM's. Nucleating agents enhance properties such as flexural modulus and heat deflection temperature (HDT), without increasing the compound density like conventional mineral fillers. They also increase the crystallization temperature of the polymer from the melt, which can be exploited to provide better molding productivity through cycle time reduction.
Flexible PVC is used in applications such as instrument panel skins and exterior trim. Special thermal stabilizers have been developed to meet the processing and thermal stability requirements of slush molded PVC skins. Light stabilizers are also used in PVC to meet weatherability requirements.
PP and TPO are used in under-the-hood applications such as reservoirs and air handling systems, where they must meet demanding industry requirements for thermal stability. Systems based on combinations of phenolic antioxidants with either thioethers or HALS can significantly extend the useful life of polypropylene and TPO under these conditions. Systems based on HALS are most appropriate for use in applications such as cowl vents where light stability is also required.
PVC wire and cable insulation requires an effective thermal stabilizer to maintain its electrical properties over the life of the vehicle. This has traditionally been accomplished using stabilizers based on lead salts, but their use is being phased out around the world due to toxicity concerns. Amfine and its parent company ADEKA have been world leaders in the development and commercialization of environmentally-friendly, heavy metal free thermal stabilizers for a variety of PVC applications.