Ticona Introduces New Celstran PP LFRT for Automotive Interiors

18 September 2009

A new range of Celstran+ PP long fibre reinforced thermoplastics (LFRT) has been launched by Ticona Engineering as an alternative to SMA resins and PC/ABS blends that are commonly used by North American OEMs to mould automotive instrument panels, air duct panels and reinforcement components.

Celstran+ PP GF20, GF30 and GF40 are customized engineering thermoplastics with long glass fibres chemically coupled to a base polypropylene (PP) resin, offer an exceptionally well balanced property profile, making them superior and ideal alternatives to SMA and PC/ABS blends,” said Hansel Ramathal, product marketing, Celstran LFRT.

First developed by Ticona for use by several European OEMs in automotive and truck instrument panels, the company claims that Celstran+ PP GF20, GF30 and GF40 offer excellent processing properties that ensure uniform glass fibre distribution and a good surface finish. Celstran+ PP has been designed to compete with styrenemaleic anhydride (SMA) resins and polycarbonate (PC)/ acrylonitrilebutadiene styrene (ABS) blends.

“Comparison tests demonstrate that Celstran+ PP can outperform SMA and PC/ABS blends across the board — heat aging, weight, part integration, foam adhesion, mechanical properties, injection moulding processes and handling,” Ramathal said. “Thanks to a well balanced property profile, these new Celstran+ LFRT grades from Ticona offer our automotive OEM customers optimal part integration and cost reduction opportunities at a good cost position.”

Available now in North America, Ticona say these Celstran+ LFRT grades offer the following advantages:
  ▪  Weight and cost savings — less weight at equal wall thickness
  ▪  Optimal mechanical properties — best crash characteristics in -35 degrees Celsius
  ▪  Improved creep resistance — resists compression and deformation from skin/cover shrinkage
  ▪  Improved impact performance — reduces breakage during shipping, handling and assembly
  ▪  Improved notched impact strength — better load transfer and predictable performance in cold temperature air bag deployment
  ▪  Superior tensile strength — higher tensile strength and elongation resulting in ductile behavior
  ▪  Greater load bearing capacity — ability to integrate more metal brackets and reinforcements into substrate or eliminate entirely
  ▪  Increased sound dampening properties — improved comfort in auto interiors due to removal of sound
  ▪  Low carbon emission — customized formulation to meet auto interior standards

Unlike conventional methods for producing long fibre reinforced thermoplastics, Ticona uses a pultrusion process to achieve very even fibre coating with the base polymer and uniform fibre distributor in the matrix, which developers say not only gives the engineering thermoplastic better stability, but also increases production reliability and reduces the cost of cleaning the production units, since less abrasion occurs and less dust is generated.

Ticona say the plastic matrix in Celstran LFRT can be formulated with different polymer feedstocks, from polypropylene and nylon to polyurethane. The combination of mechanical properties, impact and creep resistance, and low warpage imparted by these LFRT products makes them ideal candidates for automotive components, such as instrument panels, door modules, interior trim, center consoles, front end modules or other applications that require large, strong, light weight components or assemblies.

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