An innovative polypropylene-based compound from Borealis, a leading provider of chemical and innovative plastics solutions, has enabled French car maker PSA to breathe new life into its best-selling hatchback, the 206.
Launched in 2009, the Peugeot 206+ is the restyled outcome of its famous ‘206’ model. In addition to several modifications to the interior and exterior applications, PSA Design modified in a unique and innovative way the front grill. While seeking to achieve a high quality metallic effect, PSA opted for a plastic in-mass solution which could deliver the same high-quality result as painting the grill.
PSA selected Borealis’ Daplen™ EH104E-0515, a grade developed specifically for automobile exteriors. Daplen EH104E-0515 contains a special pigment which provides the same effect the car maker was looking for without the painting process.
“The use of an in-mass metallic colour for aesthetical parts requires a high-flow material in order to reduce the weld lines to a minimum,” explains Thomas Rothmayer, Senior Application Development Engineer of Borealis’ Mobility Business Unit. “Daplen EH104AE is the perfect solution. Its excellent flowability reduces the number of injection points while maintaining a low pressure level.”
Daplen EH104E-0515 is a 10% mineral filled compound with a melt flow rate (MFR, 2.16 kg) of 40 g/10 min. This enables filling of challenging parts, even at relatively low injection pressures. Inclusion of UV stabilisers makes it highly suitable for outdoor unpainted applications. In the future, this grade colour will be used as a reference by Peugeot.
“The main challenge for injection moulded grills is hiding the weld lines, a common problem of in-mass colour solutions,” underlines Claude Nicot, Project Manager at PSA. “In this instance, the flowability of material is a real advantage. The reaction time and assistance of Borealis was invaluable as it enabled us to complete this project in short order and we are very satisfied with the result.”
“Painting adds considerable cost to the overall production process,” says Harald Hammer, Borealis Vice President for the Mobility Business Unit. “In addition, producing parts with the final surface effect already built in is more environmentally friendly than painting, despite all the advances in low-solvent paint systems.
This project with PSA is just another example of our capability to develop innovative solutions in close collaboration with the Tier 1 supplier, in this case Plastic Omnium, and PSA as the OEM. I believe the effect achieved with the new compound is superb and specifically fulfils the customer needs.”
Borealis in-mass metallic PP for Peugeot’s 206+