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Sekisui Plastics USA has introduced a new grade of Piocelan mouldable foam resin; a hybrid of styrenic and olefin components.
Sekisui says the new Piocelan T is composed of a higher heat olefin component than previous grades, offering increased elevated temperature stability along with higher compressive, flexural and tensile strength. It is engineered to meet the stringent flammability requirements for automotive interior parts.
“Existing hybrid foam materials provide insufficient heat resistance for certain automotive interior applications,” said Thomas Pontiff, Vice President of Sekisui Plastics USA. “This new hybrid composition uses a different olefin which provides heat resistance and improved physical and flammability properties over other hybrid foam grades and materials used for automotive and industrial foam parts.”
Developed after extensive research efforts using its proprietary polystyrene/polyolefin hybrid foam technology, Sekisui explains that Piocelan T uses a polyolefin type that is difficult to expand together with polystyrene because of drastically different viscosities at molten temperatures. “We use a unique processing technique to produce and expand the hybrid composition,” said Pontiff. “This technique yields foam beads that are easily moulded into foam parts that have an exceptional combination of properties.”
Foam parts designed and moulded using Piocelan T, such as trunk spacers and insert cushions, are said to offer a number of advantages over parts made with existing hybrid foam materials. “For example,” said Pontiff, “part weight can be reduced by approximately 20-40% resulting in lower vehicular mass, which contributes to fuel economy and the environment. Part size can also be reduced because of the higher strength properties, which contribute to a more spacious interior in the automobile. And, because a lower mass of foam material is needed, due to lower foam density and reduced part size, part cost can be reduced.”
Because the production of Piocelan T requires a slightly different processing technique than previous Piocelan grades, Sekisui recently completed the necessary process upgrades and improvements at its resin production facility in Tennessee. “Since Piocelan will be manufactured in the US, turnaround time will be significantly reduced,” said Pontiff. Sekisui also installed moulding capability for Piocelan T at its Tennessee moulding facility and is planning to install the same capability at its new Kenton, Ohio plant, set to begin operations in the spring of 2015.
Photo provided by Sekisui.
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