MATERIALS: DirectSkinning technology is a new production process that improves cost efficiency in the production of injection molded parts in a single step. It has now been used for the first time with an aliphatic polyurethane material in the series production of vehicle interior parts.
As part of a technology project devoted to the DirectSkinning process, fischer automotive systems GmbH and Bayer MaterialScience AG have been successful in jointly developing a decorative panel that is now manufactured in series production. The component seals off a kinematic drawer located on the dashboard of the BMW 5 Gran Turismo series directly above the central console.
The approximately 1.4 mm thick covering for the panel is based on the polyurethane system Bayflex® LS (LS = Light Stable) from BaySystems. BaySystems® is the global umbrella brand for the polyurethane systems operations of Bayer MaterialScience. The system used here was specially developed for the DirectSkinning process. The panel is produced in five colors, including ivory white, light beige and gray. The panel’s thermoplastic substrate consists of the heat- and impact-resistant polycarbonate acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (PC/ABS) blend Bayblend® T85, another material from the Leverkusen-based company.
Parts produced in this way require very little secondary finishing. The thickness and color of the polyurethane layer can be varied over a broad range. As the component is produced in a single mold, DirectSkinning does not require a separate coating system, in contrast to traditional methods.
- Edited by Liz Taurasi