DETROIT - The Plastics Division of Teknor Apex Co. has developed a new micropellet form of PVC compounds for rotomolding and slush molding applications in automotive interiors. Teknor Apex of Pawtucket, R.I., is using an underwater face-cutting process to produce pellets with a diameter of 0.049 inch that the company said are nearly spherical in shape and free-flowing.
Charles Gates, industry manager for automotive compounds, said the micropellets can be used to rotomold automotive interior components, such as arm rests, console covers and door panels with complex geometries, more uniform wall thickness and improved surface features.
The company developed the micropellets to replace drysol and plastisol slush and rotomolding resins, Gates said in an interview Feb. 27 during the Society of Automotive Engineers 1996 International Congress and Exposition at Detroit's Cobo Hall.
Gates and Mike McCormack, automotive market development specialist for Teknor's Plastics Division, said their firm adapted existing cutting technology to develop the micropellets. The micropellets consist of homogeneous PVC compounds in a variety of compounds and colors.
McCormack said Teknor hopes to extend its use of the process to make PVC blends and elastomers micropellets for slush and rotomolding applications.
Gates and McCormack said Teknor's micropellets are being used to make parts for an undisclosed existing 1996 model-year vehicle.
The micropellets can be used to make products for other industries beyond the automotive industry.