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News

Advanced Elastomer Systems continues to invest in weather-seal systems technology

ExxonMobil Chemical Co : 20 October, 2004  (Company News)
Having contributed substantially to the development of thermoplastic vulcanizates (TPVs) over the past 20 years, Advanced Elastomer Systems (AES), an affiliate of ExxonMobil Chemical Co, is continuing to invest resources to meet a growing need for Santoprene TPVs in automotive weather-seals applications.
Having contributed substantially to the development of thermoplastic vulcanizates (TPVs) over the past 20 years, Advanced Elastomer Systems (AES), an affiliate of ExxonMobil Chemical Co, is continuing to invest resources to meet a growing need for Santoprene TPVs in automotive weather-seals applications.

New products, technology developments, application support capabilities and expanded facilities for the growing market in Asia mark the organization's continuing development and support of the expanding use of TPVs in weather-seal systems.

Juergen Gloeckler, Global Weatherseals Manager for Santoprene Products, said: 'We understand from original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in North America, Europe, Japan and South Korea that there is a significant trend towards the increased use of TPVs in automotive weather-sealing systems. This trend, coupled with our ongoing applications success, gives us the confidence to continue our drive into this market and invest in new capabilities to meet our customers' needs.'

In response to the strong market need in using TPVs for solid dynamic applications, a key focus area has been the development of weather-seals with co-extruded slip coatings. AES has introduced a new low-friction coating material for this market segment. In addition to its commitment to develop new Santoprene products, AES has strengthened its application development capabilities to offer customers a full system solution. To accommodate this advance, the company has installed a unique test device for prototype benchmarking and product application development. The test unit comprises a car door assembly with measurement devices to simulate the application performance of slip coatings in fleet conditions.

Other important market areas are new Santoprene TPVs for moulded applications. The strong market need to combine excellent thermoplastic processing properties with attributes like good adhesion to EPDM thermoset rubber profiles has led to the development of a new grade of Santoprene TPV for use in corner mouldings, muckets and end-caps. With more than 10 years of success in glass encapsulation applications, the company is developing new Santoprene products to advance this application area as well.

New Santoprene TPV product development and focused application development only bring part of the solution to complex automotive weather-seal systems. Dynamic foam/sponge door seal systems are considered to be among the most complex weather-seal systems. Applications for Santoprene TPV are expanding with longer-term innovation work here. Under a long-term exclusive license agreement with Trexel Inc of Woburn, Massachusetts, USA, Santoprene TPV products will continue to be developed to take full advantage of Trexel's Mucell micro-cellular foam process.

In anticipation of the increased demand for enhanced application support in Asia, AES is expanding its Japanese laboratory with the installation of a multi-purpose 60-mm extrusion line for TPVs. The line will be capable of running solid or foamed profile systems using different foaming methods and co-extrusions. This enhances similar capability that the organization has used for weather-seal application development in its Akron, Ohio, laboratory for 20 years.

Zev Gurion, Global Automotive Marketing Manager, said: 'The expansion of our laboratory capability in Asia will provide us with an excellent opportunity to improve the application support to this highly demanding, innovative market which now clearly favours TPVs for weather-seals.'

The global presence of AES and its flagship Santoprene TPV product in the weather-seals market results from more than 20 years of continuous improvement in product performance and application knowledge. The complementary broad range of ExxonMobil Chemical's elastomer products, the organization's polymer knowledge, its network of technology centres to develop products and processes to meet the needs of the market provide added stimulus and confidence to succeed in this highly demanding application sector.

With head offices in Akron, Ohio, AES is an affiliate of ExxonMobil Chemical Co, a division of Exxon Mobil Corp. AES is the worldwide leader in engineered TPVs, materials with the performance and aesthetics of rubber, and the processing ease of plastic. The company's flagship product Santoprene TPV is a recyclable elastomer commonly used in the appliance, automotive, construction, consumer goods, electrical, fluid delivery, grips, medical and packaging industries.
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