Transmit Technology Group LLC has developed a new peroxide-free, thermoformable thermoplastic polyolefin for the automotive market, and is marketing the product through injection molder Doskocil Manufacturing Co.
Arlington, Texas-based TTG developed the product for Doskocil, an injection molder in Fort Worth, Texas, that was contemplating an expansion into thermoforming. Doskocil chose not to expand in that direction and now is looking to license the TPO formulated by TTG.
The material extrudes and thermoforms well into thick-wall parts, said TTG President Amit Dharia. In automotive, the new TPO can be used in bumper fascias and interior instrument panel skins, competing with ABS, thermoplastic vulcanizates and other TPOs. It is also cost-competitive within the TPO market.
By removing peroxide from the extrusion process, the new TPO prevents degradation of its polypropylene content and also allows for the use of regrind. The introduction of regrind provides sizable cost reduction, Dharia said.
``Another big advantage [of the new TPO] is impact strength,'' he added in a recent telephone interview. ``At minus 30° [Celsius], it's unbreakable.''
The material also is being offered for large thermoformed parts in outdoor applications. Doskocil - a major producer of pet houses, golf club cases and gun cases - already is negotiating licensing opportunities with a pair of resin makers and a compounder.
TTG's previous research and development offerings include a table-top thermoforming machine that can compare the thermoformability of various resins. The machine has been used extensively in testing polypropylene, polystyrene, PET and other resins for TTG clients. Early last year, TTG contracted an outside manufacturer to make the testing machines for commercial sale.