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A good allrounder among the polyurethane systems

Bayer MaterialScience AG : 24 March, 2005  (Company News)
The new Multitec
The mixing ratio of the individual components can be varied, enabling the reactivity and material characteristics to be customized to suit the field of application. The reaction mix, comprising an isocyanate and several polyol components, needs just a few minutes to cure. The molded part can then be immediately demolded – post-curing is not necessary.

“Compared to conventional production methods, the Multitec® Short Fiber Spraying system offers clear economic benefits thanks to the low number of work steps and short cycle times involved,” says Dr. Marc Schütze, a polyurethanes expert at Bayer MaterialScience. “The system has clear environmental advantages as no solvent is used and it requires much less energy because post-curing is removed from the equation.”

RLE International GmbH of Overath, Germany, a company that specializes in the entire process chain for motor vehicle development, recognized the undeniable benefits of the system. Working closely with Bayer MaterialScience, the company's Innovation Center is focussing on the application of the Multitec® Short Fiber Spraying system. “The properties of the molded parts can be varied to suit different customers and applications. For example, we can manufacture fully customized layers that are solid or foamed and either with or without glass fibers,” says Mike Kreutz, project manager in the RLE International Innovation Center.

He and his team worked closely with specialists from Bayer MaterialScience in the development of trunk shells and fenders for a Rewaco trike. The structure of these powerful motorcycles, which feature one front and two rear wheels, makes them a sort of compromise between a motorcycle and a car.

Two properties in particular are important for the molded plastic parts mentioned above, namely high stiffness and an attractive-looking surface. Both requirements can be met fully with Multitec® Short Fiber Spraying. The combination of the polyurethane spray system with glass fibers ensures the components have the necessary stiffness and tensile strength. In addition, the high-quality surface of the molded parts allows manufacturers to achieve a brilliant gloss without the need for time-intensive coating operations.

The Innovation Center at RLE International worked with Bayer MaterialScience to develop fenders and trunk shells for a Rewaco trike. The molded plastic parts produced by Multitec® Short Fiber Spraying have a high-quality surface and brilliant gloss even without coating.

The in-mold coating method is an ideal option if a coating is desired. Unlike conventional coating which is applied after molding, this method involves spraying the coating into the mold first before applying the Multitec® Short Fiber Spraying system. The two then combine automatically. Alternatively, a polyurethane gel coat can also be utilized. This means manufacturers can avoid a subsequent coating stage, making the production of even customized small-series items a highly cost-effective operation. Both coated and uncoated variations of these components will be on show at the Bayer MaterialScience stand (Hall 1, Stand no. L02-M05) at the JEC Paris Expo, Porte de Versailles.

“The polyurethane spray system is also well-suited for processing using robots. This enables production with shorter cycle times and greater reproducibility,” adds Dr. Schütze.
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