The haptics and visual appearance of components within vehicle interiors are becoming ever more important. This, says supplier BASF, has led it to develop new materials for premium applications, in order to allow interior designers to develop attractive surfaces with a distinctive appearance.
The company notes that, after a successful market launch in 2017 of its Ultramid Deep Gloss, a special polyamide for durable high-gloss trim parts, it is following up with a new generation of surface-improved structural materials, Ultramid B3E2G6 SI BK23353 and Ultramid B3E2G10 SI BK23353. These are glass-fiber-reinforced materials based on polyamide 6, with very low emission values and good UV stability, making them ideally suited for the use in functional visible parts in the interior.
“With the newly developed SI grades for functional parts in the car interior with premium surface quality, we are offering a new solution to the existing portfolio,” explained Rainer Xalter, product developer in the performance materials division at BASF. “Structural components with plain, matt and textured surfaces can be produced in just one process step. An additional painting of the component to upgrade the surface is not necessary.”
BSAF states that visible fiber turbulences, which are commonly observed on surfaces of standard materials, are largely suppressed by the new SI grades. Additionally, due to the variable glass-fiber reinforcement, parts with medium to very high stiffness can be manufactured.
Thanks to this stiffness, both materials are therefore suitable for components such as air ventilation lamellas, steering column levers, armrests, cup holders or even door handles. In addition, the new materials are insensitive to commercially available cleaning agents.
“Thanks to our expertise in research and development, we can cover the increasing demand for versatile materials for the interior and support the trends toward more design and atmosphere in the car. Since the demands of designers and automobile manufacturers are constantly growing, we try to provide the right solution for every application with our products,” added Ragnar Stoll, interior marketing manager in the performance materials division at BASF.