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Clariant foaming agents suited to auto interiors

By: Michael Lauzon

August 28, 2013

Clariant Masterbatches has expanded its Hydrocerol line of chemical foaming agents to help cut weight in automotive interior parts.

The Muttenz, Switzerland, company says the new foaming agents help automakers achieve vehicle fuel-economy standards without sacrificing appearance or performance. Clariant claims the additives overcome previous appearance problems with former chemical blowing agents better suited to hidden parts.

Clariant says the new generation of Hydrocerol additives create a finer, more durable foam-cell structure that can save 5 to 20 percent of part weight. Weight savings have been demonstrated in thermoplastic polyolefins, polypropylene, nylon and filled materials. Door panels, ceiling panels, head liners and instrument panel sections are potential applications under development.

Clariant says the new foaming agents at addition levels of 1 percent can save material costs by 5 percent or more. The endothermic agents absorb heat to give shorter molding cycles. Other processing advantages include scavenging of moisture, carbon dioxide and acids that can corrode molds, according to Clariant.

“The newest fuel-economy mandates issued in the U.S. and Europe demand (mass reduction) and, although plastics account for a relatively small percentage of overall vehicle weight, every bit can help reduce demand for fossil fuels and cut greenhouse-gas emissions,” notes Clariant Masterbatches auto segment head in North America Rick Spring in a news release.

Clariant’s head office in North America is in Charlotte, N.C.

Tel. 704-331-7000, 41-61-469-6363.