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High-heat performance provides key to new automotive lighting demands

GE Advanced Materials : 09 April, 2004  (New Product)
GE Advanced Materials has introduced an array of new resin grades specifically designed to help bring higher performance benefits to automotive lighting applications.
GE Advanced Materials has introduced an array of new resin grades specifically designed to help bring higher performance benefits to automotive lighting applications.

These developments, which embrace Ultem PEI resin, Lexan PC resin and Valox PBT resin, represent a technology step to keep tier suppliers aligned with upcoming demands from the industry for process, performance, and cost optimisation.

Ultem XHT (Xtreme Heat) resin is designed for applications such as fog lamp reflectors, which require high heat resistance. Based on GE Advanced Materials’ proprietary X GEN resin technology, Ultem XHT resin has been developed to be the highest heat, injection-mouldable amorphous resin available in the marketplace. The X GEN resin technology is a recently launched portfolio of products that pushes high-end polymer performance to even greater levels.

Offering heat resistance to 247C, Ultem XHT resin is characterised by exceptional dimensional stability, strength, and durability. It is also flame retardant, recyclable, and can be processed using standard equipment. This extreme-heat resin supports the automotive industry’s trend toward hotter, brighter bulbs packaged into smaller design envelopes.

To help satisfy the broadening range of demands made on materials by the design complexity, size, and performance requirements of headlight bezels, GE Advanced Materials has developed two new resin grades.

Lexan 4401R resin is a high-heat polycarbonate resin that provides a step improvement in the balance of flow and heat resistance compared to alternatively available resins. In addition to excellent heat stability to 158C, Lexan 4401R resin offers increased melt flow vs. similar high-heat polycarbonate resins, allowing for potentially faster cycle times and higher productivity. Moreover, Lexan 4401R resin can be directly metallised and exhibits excellent surface aesthetics.

Valox EH7020HF resin, a 20%, mineral-filled PBT/PET blend, is an improved version of the current grade (Valox EH7020 resin), which has established a significant position in applications utilising filled PBT for headlamp bezels since its introduction in 1999. Valox EH7020HF resin delivers improvements in flow and thermal performance allowing for increased design flexibility and the potential for thinner wall sections, which can lead to shorter cycle times, while maintaining the excellent post-metallisation surface quality experienced with the current grade.

According to John Cameron, automotive lighting market director, GE Advanced Materials, “These new grades, each with a unique property profile, represent significant advances. They are part of our ongoing materials development program designed to provide automotive tier suppliers with global material solutions that help improve processing as well as final product quality and performance.”
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