Clariant, ExxonMobil Plastivaloire partner expand palette colours auto interiors

Clariant, ExxonMobil and Plastivaloire partner to expand palette of colours for auto interiors

10:52 AM, 22nd October 2019
ClariantNew colors, new materials create new design opportunities
New colours, new materials create new design opportunities

MUTTENZ, SWITZERLAND: A collaboration between Clariant Masterbatches, ExxonMobil and Plastivaloire Group has produced a huge new family of colors that can be expected to change the look of car interiors dramatically in the next few years.

Xavier Clement, Regional Sales and Project Manager – Automotive at Clariant, said the idea for the collaboration came during an automotive fair where he met Valerie Martin Maillet, a colour expert for performance polyolefins (PP compounds) at ExxonMobil and Aurelie Nangniot, a designer from Plastivaloire.

ExxonMobil was already working on a new family of performance polyolefins. With 8% lower density than previous-generation materials, its Exxtral™ performance polyolefins are lightweight, an important factor in reducing CO2 emissions. They also provide better impact strength and flow characteristics so they can be molded in thinner section, and they are non-tacky as well as scratch and UV resistant. To be successful in the market, however, they also need to be easy to color for outstanding aesthetics. That’s when the other partners stepped in.

At Plastivaloire, Aurelie Nangniot - Project Design Manager, was creating a new, exciting spectrum of accent colors that would work in harmony in automotive interiors.

She and the experts at Clariant developed a warm colour palette based on natural materials like leather, copper, cork or wood, and a cool spectrum was inspired by fashion and interior design. Warm colours provide a human touch in response to the trend toward higher comfort standards in car interiors, while cool colours reflect the higher technology of multiple screens and connected devices that will characterize the autonomous cars of the future.

A total of 23 different hues were eventually selected and melded samples were assembled in a presentation box for easy evaluation.
After discussing the colors and textures with the other collaborators, the color experts at Clariant Masterbatches formulated the color concentrates that would make it easy to turn the ExxonMobil materials into the dazzling hues that would capture the imagination of future drivers and passengers. The formulations have to be carefully crafted to ensure the perfect development of the desired colour in the polymer without adversely affecting the performance or aesthetic properties of the material.

“We each recognized that vehicle design would be changing fundamentally in the coming years. Especially given the trend toward shared cars or self-driving vehicles, drivers and passengers will want to decorate the interior of their car the same way they decorate their living rooms. We realized that, alone, we could not provide a real solution but, if we collaborate, we would be able to better serve car manufacturers and automotive designers,” said Xavier Clement, Regional Sales and Project Manager – Automotive at Clariant.

“The masterbatches allow unlimited creativity for automotive designers and improves the perceived quality of plastic parts in their vehicle interiors,” added Clement.

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