ELIX Polymers is introducing new grades of low-friction materials for automotive applications and other segments, to reduce undesirable noises and offer possibilities for cost savings.
ELIX Polymers has developed a range of speciality grades of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) and polycarbonate/acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (PC/ABS) to reduce the squeak that is generated by the contact of plastic parts with other plastic parts, leather, PVC-foil or other products. These undesirable noises can negatively affect the driver´s comfort and the quality impression of a car.
Typical critical automotive interior parts that may be affected include door handles, seating parts, cup holders and air vents. However, ELIX Polymers’
newly developed grades may also be suited for other segments such as E&E, white goods or consumer goods.
The new grades were submitted to stick-slip tests at several premium automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), according to VDA230-206 testing machines from Ziegler Instruments, with very positive test results. Using a 10-point scale, in which 10 is the highest risk level, the newly-developed ELIX grades managed to score 1 – that is, the lowest risk level. Tests were conducted with different forces (10N, 40N) and speeds (1mm/s and 4mm/s) at several temperatures.
The new grades use ELIX Polymers base polymers: standard ABS, high heat ABS, ABS/PC or PC/ABS. Because their key properties remain the same, this does not affect existing OEM approvals of ELIX grades. Furthermore, as the shrinkage of the materials stays the same, current moulds can be used without further need for modifications.
According to Fabian Herter, Industry Manager Automotive at ELIX Polymers, significant cost savings are possible with these new grades. He commented, “Until now, in many instances, fabrics or grease had to be added afterwards to reduce squeak and rattle. However, this involves additional costs and manual labour – and therefore is not ideal. Now, thanks to these new ELIX grades, we are able to offer a more competitive solution when compared to other resins that are currently available.”
Mr Herter added, “This new development is the result of our close partnership with leading OEMs. Together we identified the need to address this issue and we were able to develop tailor-made solutions. This approach is fully in line with our strategy to focus on specialty added-value materials.”