DEARBORN, MICH. — International Automotive Components Group is launching production of a new processing method to improve aesthetic durability of auto interior trim parts.
Smartfoil places coated film inside the injection press and molds behind it, adding a tougher top layer on the finished part. In June at IAC's Dayton, Tenn., plant, the company will begin making a door panel using thermoplastic polyolefin film that will be preheated and inserted into the mold, with polypropylene injection molded behind it, said Rose Ryntz, IAC senior director of material engineering. The panel, for an unspecified 2014 vehicle, will stand up better to scuffs and scratches, she said.
Improved performance in non-painted parts helps automakers meet growing demand for midsize cars and crossover vehicles, Ryntz said in a discussion at Ward's Auto Interiors Conference May 22 in Dearborn.
More North American consumers are looking at downsized vehicles, but expect the same level of quality. The Smartfoil process will provide higher quality in less-expensive parts.
The part will take its grain pattern from the mold. The combination of TPO and PP makes the part easy to recycle.
IAC North America is based in Southfield, Mich.,