From Asahi Kasei Plastics North America comes SoForm, a new engineered resin series as part of the Thermylene family, the company’s portfolio of specialty chemically coupled glass fibre reinforced polypropylenes.
SoForm is said to be a cost- and process-optimised material for automotive interior surfaces and industrial durable goods. The PP is said to feature very good scratch resistance with excellent haptic surface feel and good durability. It also offers benefits such as low gloss, low emissions, chemical resistance, and structural performance. The material is available in 10 %, 15 %, 20 % and 25 % glass fibre filled grades. All are commercialised and available in either natural or pre-coloured for injection moulding.
Automotive application areas for these novel grades include, but are not limited to, instrument panels, door panels and associated touch points (map pockets, console sides, mirror surrounds and seat trim). SoForm also excels in the industrial segment with applications such as furniture armrests and durable wear surfaces. The durability and haptic surface finish enable both automotive and industrial segments to provide customers with improved longevity and luxury.
Currently, soft touch paint, over-moulding or a foam in place with skin has been required to meet these customer demands. As the material is said to eliminate the need for these proc edures, it can provide additional cost-savings and eco-friendly options for the manufacturer.