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News

Generous design freedom, high productivity

Bayer MaterialScience AG : 28 March, 2006  (New Product)
The use of the Multitec Short Fiber Spraying polyurethane system opens up a wide range of possibilities in vehicle manufacture. Bayer MaterialScience AG and Overath, Germany-based Prisma Tech Products GmbH have collaborated in the development of prototypes of a roof unit, a fender, an instrument panel, and a door inner trim panel. These demonstrate that Multitec can be used to produce even highly complex parts.
Leverkusen, The Multitec Short Fiber Spraying polyurethane system’s efficient open mold processing and high productivity make it an attractive proposition for the automotive industry. Bayer MaterialScience AG and Overath, Germany-based Prisma Tech Products GmbH have collaborated in the development of prototypes of a roof unit, a fender, an instrument panel, and a door inner trim panel. These demonstrate that Multitec can be used to produce highly complex parts. Any surface finish, whether “Class A” or “Soft-Touch”, can be applied according to requirements.

The roof unit, one of the prototypes, was developed for police vehicles and is used to accommodate the flashing light and loudspeaker technology. “Multitec Short Fiber Spraying enables molded parts like the police roof unit to be manufactured very economically, even in small and medium-sized batches,” says Dr. Marc Schütze, polyurethane expert at Bayer MaterialScience. A further potential application for Multitec is in complex molded components such as the fender and door inner trim panel. The polyurethane spraying system typically consists of one isocyanate and two polyol components that permit a variation of reaction speed. The polyurethane system is sprayed into an open mold with cut glass fibers to achieve a high degree of stability and rigidity. The component hardens within a matter of minutes without the need for annealing.

Because high-quality finishes are particularly important in the automotive field, different coating methods were used on two of the components. While the Class A finish on the fender is achieved by means of conventional coating, the finish on the roof unit is created using a gel coat with a novel metallic effect. Here the styrene-free gel coat from Harzlack Ltd. of Halberstedt, Germany, is applied to the mold in an initial step. This is followed directly by the glass-fiber-reinforced Multitec without any flash-off time. Both coatings consist of reactive polyurethane, which guarantees their excellent cohesion with one another, making the production of the shiny metallic component even more cost-effective.

Another prototype developed by Prisma Tech is an instrument panel with a striking new design. First a gel coating was applied to the mold and strengthened with Multitec. The instrument panel was then removed from the mold and coated by König Lackierfachbetrieb Dessau GmbH, Germany, to give it an appearance similar to leather and a special handle.

Neither styrene nor solvents are required in the production of any of these components. Because there is no need for annealing, much less energy is required than in conventional manufacturing using glass-fiber-reinforced plastics. “Multitec is therefore an excellent example of how economic and ecological developments are not necessarily mutually exclusive, but can go hand in hand,” reports Schütze happily.
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