SCHAUMBURG, ILL. — Thermoforming Conference attendees learned the latest about capstocks, to improve cosmetics and mechanical properties of sheet.
Nate Bachman, polymer engineer for Arkema Group, described his company's new Solarkote T-brand capstock and Elium liquid thermoplastic resins.
Solarkote-T uses a patented tie-layer to bring acrylic and thermoplastic olefin together. Bachman said the capstock gives excellent impact resistance, dimensional stability, and light weight — the advantages of a TPO — while reducing TPO's disadvantages, such as weatherability, clarity and scratch resistance.
Solarkote-T can be used as a capstock over ABS, PVC, high-impact polystyrene or wood-plastic composites, he said.
Elium is a liquid thermoplastic resin, giving structural properties to make a “thermoformable composite” reinforced with glass, or carbon fiber parts. You can do sharp, ninety-degree bends, Bachman said.
Applications include automotive seat structures, front-end stiffeners, or even customized hockey sticks.
Another speaker, Don Hone, described how colors can impact sheet properties. He is business manager of LTL Color Compounders Inc. in Morrisville, Pa.
For protection against ultraviolet light, the design of the material is the key, Hone said. Sometimes the color itself improves UV resistance, he added.
Steven Blazey, research and development engineer at A. Schulman Inc. outlined results of Akron, Ohio-based company's accelerated weathering of acrylonitrile-styrene acrylate (ASA) polymers often used in outdoor applications. Resistance to UV degradation is achieved through the use of the rubber modifier, choice of the copolymer, color, UV stabilizers and other additives.