Chemicals giant BASF has announced at Automotive Interiors Expo, Novi, Michigan, that its new product, Ultramid Vision, has been used for the first time in the electric window switches of a German OEM.
Compared to the materials normally used in such an application, Ultramid – a hardy semi-transparent material – displays high light transmission with low light scattering. As Jeff Hagar, market segment manager at BASF, noted, the new product competes with polycarbonate, but “with the advantages of greater mechanical properties and also chemical resistance. You can color it, you can make it clear or laser-etch it for light transmission”.
The Ultramid technology can also be applied to produce molding-color high-gloss piano-black plastic components. It eliminates paint from the production process and integrates the color into the part. The upshot of removing a step from the production process is cost savings. Furthermore, the chemical resistance of the material ensures a high gloss look that is very resistant to UV light, chemicals and abrasion. In other words, there is no paint to wear off and make the component look shabby after several years of hard use.