Hyundai America Technical Center, Inc. (HATCI) and Covestro: fine-tuning production technology
Direct Coating improves piano black appearance and scratch resistance of automotive trim components
Direct Coating technology offers cost reduction, provides greater design flexibility, eliminates the need for painting and results in a durable finish.
Pittsburgh, April 5, 2018 – High-gloss, piano black is a growing trend for interior and exterior automotive trim components. With today’s traditional three-layer coating process, automakers face the challenges of obtaining a high-quality finish while dealing with high rejection rates and absorbing high painting costs. To overcome these limitations, Hyundai America Technical Center, Inc. (HATCI) collaborated with Covestro LLC to explore a new processing technique called Direct Coating.
Direct Coating technology will be the focus of a presentation by Amanda Nummy, materials engineer, HATCI, at WCX™18: SAE World Congress Experience in Detroit. On Thursday, April 12 at 9 a.m., Nummy will present “Direct Coating Technology for Improved Piano Black Appearance and Scratch Resistance.”
Direct Coating technology combines conventional thermoplastic injection molding with reaction injection molding (RIM) in a single tool – delivering a hard polycarbonate blend substrate with an ultraviolet-stabilized, scratch- and chemical-resistant polyurethane coating with a piano black finish. Direct Coating offers cost reduction, provides greater design flexibility, eliminates the need for painting and results in a durable finish.
Nummy’s presentation will share the results of a development project for an exterior trim piece to assess Direct Coating for exterior components. The successfully produced prototypes utilized a Covestro PC+ABS blend material and commercially available aliphatic polyurethane coating raw materials. The selected materials were tailored to optimize adhesion between the two material formulations while also meeting the chemical and mechanical performance requirements of the finished part.
“Direct Coating is a promising solution for a wide variety of decorative and functional automotive trim components,” said Nummy. “I’d like to thank the Covestro team for providing valuable development support and technical knowledge.”
“We frequently collaborate with automakers to solve materials and processing challenges and in doing so, help them meet consumers’ desires for stylish vehicles,” said Jessee McCanna, Direct Coating program lead, Covestro LLC. “With its ability to reduce overall part cost while adding performance, design freedom and product differentiation, Direct Coating technology offers auto OEMs a way to really set themselves apart from the competition.”
WCX™18 will take place April 10-12, at the Cobo Center in Detroit and attracts more than 11,000 mobility-engineering professionals.