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New look for the home cinema

Bayer MaterialScience AG : 30 March, 2005  (Company News)
When it comes to the shape and size of televisions, the slimmer the set and the larger the screen, the better. Gone are the days of cumbersome televisions that were so deep they took up half the living room.
Today's TV viewer is looking for televisions that can be mounted directly on the wall and turn his room into a mini cinema. And, in line with this trend, flat-screen televisions also have to meet high esthetic requirements. This applies to the housing in particular, which should have an attractive design, high-quality surface and low weight. Added to this, of course, are technical requirements for the material, such as good sound-proofing and effective flame-retardant properties.

With its impressive new “Gran Cinema RTX” series of flat-screen televisions, SIM 2 Multimedia S.p.A. of Pordenone, Italy, is showing just how these challenges can be mastered. The televisions feature a smart material composite based on a thermoplastic film and the Baydur® 60 polyurethane integral skin foam system from Bayer MaterialScience AG. The large components are manufactured by GMP Poliuretani S.p.A. of Oderzo, Italy.

The new patented production process utilized at GMP, known as Foiled PUR Technology (FPT), combines the benefits of polyurethane processing technology with the attractive, robust surface that thermoplastic films are renowned for. “The FPT process enables us to achieve high stability at low weights,” says Guido Furlanetto, head of marketing at GMP. To manufacture the TV housing, a thermoformed film is back-injected with Baydur® 60 at low pressure. Back-injecting with polyurethane makes the molded part extremely stable. Despite its large size of 1.45 x 1.20 x 0.5 meters, the TV housing weighs just 18.7 kilograms.

“The film gives the housing a particularly high-quality surface, rendering further coating unnecessary. Missing out this additional operation is further proof of the cost-effectiveness of the FPT process,” says Furlanetto. Unlike thermoplastic materials, the liquid PUR mixture is processed at low temperatures, meaning cost-effective aluminum molds can also be used for this application. “The FPT process enables high-performance products to be manufactured in dimensions that are not possible using injection molding techniques,” adds Furlanetto.

A further benefit of using polyurethane is the acoustic properties it offers. When it comes to sound-proofing, FPT is far superior to alternative materials such as sheet metal and thermoplastics.
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