First impressions are made in seconds, seven to eight to be precise. In the current economy, now is the time when companies in the automotive industry need to make the right impact – and the key is in the details.
Whether it is look, feel, cost-savings or function, the material matters, especially for interiors. For this segment, requirements are demanding, and the process can become costly depending on the manufacturing process.
With these requirements and cost-saving initiatives in mind, Asahi Kasei Plastics North America recently commercialized SoForm™, which is product of their Thermylene® family. SoForm represents Asahi Kasei’s brand of glass fiber reinforced haptic polypropylene materials to answer the industry’s need for durable molded-in color soft touch materials.
Compared to traditional materials or painted parts, these materials provide a pleasing aesthetic surface combined with improved durability and excellent scratch resistance. The Soform technology also offers key benefits such as low gloss, low emissions, chemical resistance and structural performance.
Due to its properties, it is ideal for automotive trim parts and components including, but not limited to, instrument panels, door panels and associated touch points (map pockets, console sides, mirror surrounds and seat trim).
“SoForm has unique performance compared to traditional talc reinforced TPO’s due to the increased scratch and mar properties” says Todd Glogovsky, VP of Sales and Technology. “For applications that have higher durability requirements, SoForm will be a key product”.
For the manufacturing process, currently soft touch paint, over-molding or a foam in place with skin has been required to meet these customer demands. SoForm is an alternative to improve the design, manufacture, logistics and value chain of the production process. As SoForm eliminates the needs to paint, over-mold or foam in place, it can provide additional cost-savings and eco-friendly options for the manufacturer.
It is critical to continually improve in the industry and upgrading materials for interiors will make an impact. To learn more information regarding SoForm and other Asahi Kasei Plastics North America products, visit www.akplastics.com or contact a member of our media relations team.
About Asahi Kasei Plastics North America, Inc.
Asahi Kasei Plastics North America, Inc. (“APNA”) is a leading manufacturer of innovative, high performance, engineered polymers and chemically coupled polypropylene resins in North America.
Media Contact – North America:
Asahi Kasei Plastics North America / Asahi Kasei America
900 East Van Riper Road, Fowlerville MI 48836
Tel: +1 (517) 223-5253
Mail: [email protected]