Materials Science

SABIC debuts at NPE 2018 new portfolio of PP compounds

SABIC, a global leader in the chemical industry, unveiled yesterday at NPE 2018, a new and growing portfolio of SABIC polypropylene (PP) compounds that deliver a soft feel combined with excellent scratch performance in unpainted, low gloss automotive interior components. The new SABIC PP compounds offer the luxurious haptics and finishes that today’s consumers demand – even in lower-priced vehicles. At the same time, these injection molding materials can help automotive OEMs and tiers reduce costs by as much as 50% by avoiding secondary operations such as applying soft paint, fabric, foam or other surface covering.

“Elegance, comfort and quiet in automotive interiors are becoming increasingly important to buyers of vehicles at all price points,” said Scott Fallon, global leader of SABIC’s Automotive business. “SABIC engineered these new PP compounds to address this demand by helping manufacturers deliver an interior environment that connotes luxury while controlling costs. Our customers can benefit from the outstanding aesthetics and value this innovative material technology provides.”

Soft Feel and Strong Performance
In addition to a soft tactile feel, SABIC PP compounds provide an attractive matte surface with excellent scratch resistance, good impact performance and low shrinkage. These SABIC materials also deliver good sound damping capability to help create a quiet cabin environment. The portfolio, which is available globally, includes several grades of short glass fibre-reinforced PP to give customers a choice of stiffness level and material density. The materials are also UV stabilized to prevent fading and colour shift.

Possible applications where this material can be used include interior trims, seat and console side cladding, glove boxes, door panels and other similar interior components. SABIC PP compounds allow these types of parts to be efficiently manufactured using only one high-volume injection moulding step.

Cost Savings without Compromise
Leading Indian automaker, Tata Motors, is the first automotive manufacturer to use one of the SABIC PP compounds in vehicle interior applications. Tata Motors selected a SABIC PP compound to mold parts with a soft feel and high-end appearance in the steering column cover and speedometer cluster top for its 2017 Tiago hatchback.

The company eliminated the need for expensive paint systems, saving about 30 percent, while achieving the same level of performance and aesthetics.

The Tiago’s steering wheel column is on display at the company’s booth for the duration of NPE 2018.