Target applications for these electroplating grades include radiator grilles, logos, profiles, tailgate handles, and decorative interior parts.
Over the last three years, Elix Polymers has dedicated some additional efforts and made important investments to strengthen its position in this select market. The result has been the development of innovative improvements in specific parts of polymer manufacturing in order to obtain the highest purity of ABS and a better surface quality in finished parts. Improvements to the rubber emulsion step and to SAN mass polymerisation at the core of the manufacturing process for the ABS plating grade have led to an improved version of the P2MC material.
"Most of our galvano and electroplating customers have tested the material with very good results and have expressed their satisfaction," says Toni Prunera, Head of Quality and Business Development. "One of the leading licensors of plating technologies has tested the material, validated it and is now recommending it to our customers."
Elix Polymers has also developed two more electroplating grades. A high heat version, of the flagship ABS grade, HH P2MC, together with a platable ABS/polycarbonate (ABS/PC) blend, Ultra HH4115PG, complete the company's plating portfolio.
All grades in the portfolio have special material formulations dedicated to electroplating process requirements, ensuring high quality for class A surfaces. "An intensive control and selection of raw materials is in place," says Toni Prunera.
The new HH P2MC grade has similar behaviour to the original P2MC in terms of processability and properties, but its heat deflection temperature (HDT) is several degrees higher, at around 104°C. In addition, the material has several other advantages over other platable high heat grades in the market, such as compliance with automotive low emission requirements.
For applications where even higher temperature resistance or impact strength is required, platable ABS/PC grades provide a solution. ELIX has therefore developed Ultra HH4115PG, an ABS modified with PC with very competitive advantages over PC-ABS grades (PC modified with ABS) in terms of processability, lightweighting and costs. Adherence of the metal phase is also one of its strong points.
With all these new developments, Elix Polymers is now positioned as the only thermoplastic producer that can offer a complete portfolio of ABS and ABS/PC materials capable of being metallized by electroplating, suitable for all market needs.