Innovative styrenic specialty solutions

Innovative styrenic specialty solutions

6:15 AM, 3rd October 2017
Innovative styrenic specialty solutions
StyLight demonstrator (door module).

INEOS Styrolution was established in 2011 as a joint venture of INEOS and BASF. Three years later, in 2014, the company became a wholly owned company of INEOS. This move resulted in a number of benefits for the organization, which included, for example, an easy access to upstream supplies. Today, INEOS Styrolution is determined to support the success of their customers in their respective markets, to give them a competitive edge.

Based on a strong R&D network together with leading universities and research institutions, INEOS Styrolution strives to develop innovative solutions – in many cases in direct cooperation with the customers, bringing together industry expertise and detailed knowledge of chemical engineering.

The company’s roots go back more than 85 years resulting in a wealth of skills and expertise related to styrenic solutions. Today, INEOS Styrolution successfully focuses on styrenic speciality solutions for a number of focus industries including automotive, healthcare, packaging, electronics, household and construction.

The following customer applications demonstrate the focus on innovative speciality solutions.

In the automotive industry, INEOS Styrolution has been closely aligning with the development departments of several premium brand car manufacturers in Europe and in Asia to introduce solutions based on the hot stamping technology. The technology provides a finish similar to chrome plating and can be applied regardless of the surface colour, reducing mounting complexity as well as costs on decoration processes and tooling.

“The new hot stamping technology has been adopted by many OEMs worldwide to create high quality and aesthetic front grills. The technology does not only allow new designs but also reduces manufacturing cost. Luran S is the material of choice since it offers an excellent surface quality that cannot be achieved by other materials,” commented Christophe Ginss, sales director, automotive EMEA with global coordination role. – Luran® S is INEOS Styrolution’s acrylonitrile styrene acrylate (ASA) copolymer brand of choice for unpainted exterior applications. It offers outstanding properties for long-term use and for a high-quality surface appearance. In particular, it offers weathering stability for outdoor applications even when unpainted.

Pic. 1: Peugeot, model 208

In 2017, the technology is also pioneered by a leading global car manufacturer producing in Brazil and by two more Brazilian OEMs. In other words, the technology has now been embraced in all global regions.

Another very recent application demonstrates the use of styrenics in the automotive sector. Groupe PSA is taking advantage of Luran® S 778T and Novodur® HH-106 G2 for several window embellisher applications on the new Citroen C3.

The styrenic materials from INEOS Styrolution convince with excellent product properties (UV performance, colour and surface aesthetics) combined with easy processing.

Pic. 2: Hyundai, model Kia K5

While the hot stamping technology is already implemented in many commercial applications, different styrenic materials are currently under investigation by automotive manufacturers worldwide for future applications. Thanks to outstanding aesthetics and dimensional stability, styrenics-based materials are being used more than ever in automotive design parts.

Here is a small selection of current “hot” new materials:

-       A solution particularly developed for the needs of the automotive industry is INEOS Styrolution’s first composite called StyLight®.

Pic. 3: ASA and ABS grades at the new Citroen C3

StyLight combines properties needed for structural, non-visible applications with aesthetics needed for visible parts. The creative Austrian engineering office KTM developed a set of innovative design concepts for several automotive applications – from interior applications like a central console or a door module to exterior applications like a body panel for trucks or tractors. (For more details, see Chemical Today Magazine, June 2017 Edition, pages 28-31.)

-       The new Novodur® Ultra 4255 was only launched at the K Show in 2016. The material offers high heat resistance, low-temperature ductility and enhanced flowability. Novodur Ultra 4255 features high impact strength at room temperature as well as at low temperatures, 100 percent ductility at -30°C, high heat resistance and best-in-class flowability. It is expected to become a material of choice for car interiors, especially for applications like door panels, lower seat trims, centre and overhead consoles or glove box doors and frames.

-       Novodur® H701 is an attractive solution for automotive interior applications like door modules. The material is an injection moulding grade of ABS with heat resistance and high impact strength.

In the household sector, a recent new application was developed by Haier, a world-leading brand in household appliances. Based on INEOS Styrolution’s Novodur® 595CP, Haier developed new fridge liner applications offering a 25 percent reduction in fridge liner cracking due to the new material’s high ESCR (“environmental stress crack resistance”) property. The new solution resulted in higher cost savings for Haier.

Novodur 595CP offers the properties needed for a household application in terms of food contact safety, aesthetics and functionality. In addition to the high ESCR value, the material is also suitable for food contact and it is resistant to cyclopentane blowing agent.

Pic. 4: High-quality material for new fridge liner

The successful cooperation with Haier won INEOS Styrolution the Haier Golden Cube Award in 2017 at the company’s annual Global Supplier Conference in Shanghai.

For the healthcare industry, INEOS Styrolution brought a breakthrough product to market in 2017. Novodur® HD M203FC G3 is a fibre filled medical polymer grade, which is certified against the relevant parts of the biocompatibility standard ISO 10993. The new material does not only impress with its mechanical properties such as stiffness, impact strength and dimensional stability, but also with its high flowability (melt volume rate, 220 oC/10 kg, ISO 1133: 18cm3/10 min) allowing for an excellent processability.

The glass fibre filled Novodur ABS was developed in close cooperation with Fleima-Plastics, a member of the Masterflex Group and leading manufacturer of spikes and caps made of ABS. This close cooperation ensured that detailed knowledge of the healthcare industry’s needs met detailed knowledge of chemical engineering. The combined expertise resulted in a solution that sets new standards.

“We have developed these new solutions in close cooperation with our customers”, explained Alexander Silvestre, global director – healthcare. “To my knowledge, the new Novodur HD M203FC G3 grade is the first glass fibre filled polymer grade to be offered with the full complement of healthcare compliance documents. We are providing medical device designers with the option to choose a superior product that meets both the technical and regulatory demands that are indicative of the healthcare industry.”

Novodur HD M203FC G3 meets the requirements of the European and Japanese pharmacopoeia and it has been tested according to the USP Class Biological Reactivity Tests Class VI and relevant 10993 standards.

Pic. 5: Fleima medical spikes

The company Fleima, introduced a first healthcare application soon after the introduction of the new Novodur HD M203FC G3 grade. The spike Fleima introduced was indeed a trendsetter for new applications such as generic insertion aids, drip chamber or transfer spikes. As Ismail Dogru, key account consultant, Fleima-Plastics, said in an interview in early 2017: “As there is currently no other fiber-glass-reinforced ABS with corresponding approvals available across the world, we expect the new material to develop as a standard for applications in the field of medical technology and especially in the development of spikes.”

Authors: Christophe Ginss, Artur Sokolowski, Alexander Silvestre are from INEOS Styrolution.

© Chemical Today Magazine


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