The first COMPLUS Concept from Polykemi and Rondo Plast focuses on a newly developed PP-based material for complex interior automotive applications.
The newly developed and virgin raw material based compound POLYfill PP EP317R UV has both high scratch resistance and UV stability, together with excellent mechanical properties and unlimited colouration possibilities. These features makes the material an optimum choice for interior automotive applications.
The material also has three new siblings right from the start, all with similar characteristics and properties that are adapted to the requirement profiles of different parts in an assembled product.
- The idea came up during a conversation with one of our end customers, being one of the world's largest vehicle manufacturers. They were looking for materials with similar properties, both based on virgin plastic raw material and on high-quality recycled plastic raw material. In some cases, the requirements profile only allows plastic compounds based on virgin plastic raw material, but in other cases, material based on high-quality recycled plastic raw material is the best solution, explains development manager Anette Munch Elmér.
Door panels as an example of a suitable application
The newly developed materials are presented in the new material concept that Polykemi and Rondo Plast have informed about recently. The COMPLUS Concept offers choices between several different materials, both based on virgin plastic raw material and on high-quality recycled plastic raw material. The materials have similar properties but are adapted for different injection molded parts within the same construction.
An example within the automotive industry is door panels, which are often complex assemblies consisting of several parts, all with their individual specific requirement profiles. In this application, all four material alternatives within the COMPLUS PP Concept can be used.
The main components of a door panel, the carrier and the side pocket, are usually parts with a grained surface, produced in many different colors. These parts can often be exposed to both harsh handling and tough sunlight.
According to Polykemi, the optimum material choice is the POLYfill PP EP317R UV with its high scratch resistance and good UV stability. For the same parts, you can also choose a REZYcom material based on high-quality recycled raw materials, with all the environmental benefits it provides, available in dark grey or black colours.
A door panels armrest and door insert are parts often covered with foil, fabric or leather. Here, a third material alternative is available, since the demands for colourations, scratch resistance and UV stability are lower. If the requirement profile is marginally decreased, there is a fourth material alternative, also based on high-quality recycled raw materials.
Development Manager Anette Munch Elmér with a door panel from a previous project where the COMPLUS Concept could have been used.
Flexibility even late in the project process
The concept of COMPLUS PP means that you can choose the right material for the right parts. But even if you have made a correct material choice, the conditions can still change during the course of a project. Then there is the unique opportunity to choose another of the four materials late in the process, since the characteristics and properties are so similar, without having to modify or change the moulds - a fact that saves both time and money.
- The material change can be done without jeopardizing either mechanical properties or quality, the materials are quite simply exchangeable. This is the concept we have now developed, explains Anette Munch Elmér.
The increasing environmental challenges of the future
Polykemi is also working on an initiative related to materials and sustainability, that will be presented shortly.
- We see a future where flexibility in material choices and, above all, everything surrounding sustainability is ever increasing. The use of recycled materials has historically been initiated mainly for financial reasons, but with today's strong environmental focus, the materials' CO2 footprint is the most important feature, says Mattias Persson, Sales manager at Polykemi.
– Therefore, we are quite proud to be able to present a precise system for calculating and reporting the CO2 footprints for our materials, in the near future. Calculations will be available for both materials based on virgin plastic raw materials as well as high-quality recycled raw materials, Mattias Persson concludes.
The materials from the COMPLUS Concept can be used for different parts in a door panel.