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News

Great looks, soft handle

Bayer MaterialScience AG : 20 October, 2004  (Company News)
Soft-feel coatings impart a pleasant, warm and velvety handle to surfaces. They are therefore preferred for use on products where contact with the surface is supposed to trigger positive sensations.
Bayer MaterialScience AG has developed a soft-feel coated film system that is characterized by excellent surface properties and economical production. It is based on Bayhydrol® and Bayhydur® polyurethane coating raw materials, which are used to formulate environmentally compatible waterborne soft-feel coatings, and Makrofol® thermoforming polycarbonate as well as Bayfol® PC blend films from Bayer MaterialScience. After application of the soft-feel coating, the film is thermoformed to the desired shape and backed with a plastic, if necessary. After processing, the film system can be used for the production of such things as various automotive interior panels or cellular phone housings.

“The coating imparts a pleasant, velvety surface and high-quality appearance to the plastic film while at the same time significantly improving its resistance to scratching, abrasion and chemicals,” says Dr. Torsten Pohl, an expert on plastics coatings for interior applications at Bayer MaterialScience’s Coatings, Adhesives and Sealants Business Unit. The company has many years of experience and a leading market position with both the coating raw materials and the polycarbonate films.

The soft-feel coating is sprayed onto the film and cured by means of forced drying at 80 °C. Immediately thereafter, the coated film can be placed into the mold and thermoformed. “This has no adverse effect on the outstanding appearance of the coated film, nor does it in any way diminish the good haptic properties,” says Pohl.

“After stamping and back-moulding, the coated film is ready for the assembly of the final product,” says Dr. Heinz Pudleiner, a polycarbonate films expert at Bayer MaterialScience. The process is extremely efficient and economical, in part because the coating of a flat film means a substantially higher coating application efficiency and thus requires less coating material than does the coating of a finished, three-dimensional plastic part.
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