PolyOne: Moulded-in-colour parts replace metallic paint on SUV centre console housing

PolyOne recently collaborated with a global automotive OEM and its injection moulder to eliminate paint from a new vehicle’s interior. To support the transition to moulded-in-colour (MIC) parts, PolyOne provided metallic-effect Smartbatch FX masterbatch colourants for two PC/ABS side panels on the centre console of a compact SUV now entering commercial production.


Easy transition from paint to metallic-effect with Smartbatch FX masterbatch (Source: PolyOne)

Paint adds a great surface finish to automobile parts, but painting always adds cost, time, and additional logistics requirements. By using Smartbatch FX metallic masterbatches, the moulder was able to produce parts ready for assembly with no secondary processing required. Suitable for standard injection moulding machinery, Smartbatch FX reduces the cost per part by 30 % or more compared to painted parts. Lowered energy requirements vs. painting and the reduction of VOCs also make this masterbatch a more environmentally sustainable solution.

“Many car parts are painted, not just metal and thermoplastic exterior parts, but also thermoplastic parts in a vehicle’s interior,” notes Gary Fielding, vice president and general manager, Color and Additives EMEA at PolyOne. “We have successfully helped carmakers transition from paint to MIC for many exterior applications such as skid plates and trims. This recent project is a significant step forward in reducing the cost to manufacture highly visible interior applications.”

Transitioning from paint to the use of MIC with Smartbatch FX helps manufacturers in the automotive, appliance, consumer goods and other industries create attractive, durable parts at reduced cost. PolyOne’s metallic-effect masterbatches can be incorporated into pre-coloured compounds or dosed at a moulding machine.

To provide customers with additional information on making the switch from paint to molded-in-color parts, PolyOne has created an eBook titled, “Trend Report: Efficient Manufacturing And Molded-In Color.” It can be downloaded here: https://bit.ly/2yyOJCf