FRIEDRICHSHAFEN, GERMANY — PolyOne Corp. is making inroads into LED lighting applications with its Therma-Tech-brand material technology.
Automotive suppliers in particular “all need weight savings and performance,” Holger Kronimus said Oct. 14 at Fakuma in Friedrichshafen. Kronimus serves as general manager for PolyOne's engineered materials business in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and India.
Other PolyOne customers now want the same performance that Turkish auto parts supplier Mars Otomotiv received by using Therma-Tech technology in high-brightness LED housings for off-road vehicle lights. Mars was honored by the Society of Plastics Engineers in late 2013 for the application, which used a thermally conductive nylon. Turkish auto supplier Ayfar Otomotive also worked on the project.
“One of the advantages to Therma-Tech is that it has no limits on base resin,” engineered materials Europe marketing director Anne Hippert said Oct. 14 at the show. “It provides no rust, light weight and design freedom.”
Materials made by Avon Lake, Ohio-based PolyOne often can provide 7 to 10 percent weight savings when replacing other plastics in auto parts, she added, and 20 to 30 percent when replacing metal in those applications.
There are other challenges to be met when doing material replacement work, according to Kronimus.
“We're doing a lot of design work with our customers,” he said. “Some of them have been in metal and have never worked with polymers before.”
In the last year, PolyOne — which ranks as North America's largest compounder and concentrate maker — has opened two new international plants. A new plant in Pune, India, makes specialty solid concentrates, as well as liquid color and additive formulations. Development labs and a sales and customer service center also are located at the site.
The firm's second new plant is in Istanbul, Turkey, where demand from the Turkish plastics market is growing 10 percent per year. The new plant can run higher-value products and more specialty materials than PolyOne's first plant there, Kronimus said.