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A firm grip!

Bayer MaterialScience AG : 28 September, 2004  (Company News)
Yesterday a major shopping expedition to the superstore, today a trip to the zoo with the kids and their friends, tomorrow fully-packed for the family vacation
The new Toyota Corolla Verso offers such variability, and can be transformed from a seven-seater to a two-seater with a large, flat cargo area without removing any of the seats. Generous handles made from Bayblend® DP W 65 from Bayer MaterialScience AG and integrated seamlessly into the seat backs can be used to fold down the third-row seats. Ingeniously, this weather protected plastic, which can withstand high mechanical loads, is pigmented dark gray, features a matte surface and does not require coating. This makes it possible to produce components with a good enough grip that are also resistant to scratching – an important consideration in the demanding environment of a vehicle’s cargo area. Removing the need for coating also reduces the production costs of this component.

High impact strength even at to low temperatures was another fundamental requirement for these handles in the Toyota Corolla Verso. The large handles, which are direct components of the load floor, are subject to high impact stresses in everyday use, for example when the vehicle is being loaded with drinks crates. This is equally true for the handle frames, which are also made from Bayblend® DP W 65.

Dr. Holger Warth, Global Industry Manager Automotive, IT and Blends at Bayer MaterialScience, explains: “Bayblend® DP W 65 is a PC/AES blend (polycarbonate/acrylonitrile-ethylene-styrene) with modified impact resistance. Thanks to special patented technology, this grade displays particularly good low temperature impact strength which far exceeds that of comparable weather resistant thermoplastics such as ASA (acrylonitrile-styrene-acrylate copolymers) or PC/ASA blends.” Other properties such as heat resistance and flowability, the latter being important for processing, are comparable with those of popular PC/ABS blends.

Bayblend® DP W 65’s weather resistance is also impressive. “Requirements in automobile interiors are increasing all the time,” explains Warth. “This field too is making ever greater use of materials that are resistant to UV radiation. Components which are subject to mechanical stress also have to exhibit good thermal aging properties. For example, this is the case for the levers used to fold down the second row of seats in the Toyota Corolla Verso. Since they are located in the upper part of each seat’s backrest, they are particularly exposed to light. Toyota also uses our Bayblend® DP W 65 – which, in addition to weathering resistance, also features good thermal aging – to make these levers.” The manufacturer is the Japanese firm Takanichi in Turkey, which as system supplier also produces all of the vehicle’s seating.

“Bayblend® DP W 65 combines particularly good low-temperature impact resistance and UV resistance with an otherwise balanced range of properties,” summarizes Warth. “This means distinct benefits for components subject to high stress loads in vehicle interiors. A welcome side effect of using this PC/AES blend is its matte finish. Matt components can be manufactured without an additional coating stage – a fact that can lead to significant savings.”
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