NO. 10: Kraton Performance Polymers of Houston, and Italian specialty compounder SO.F.TER teamed up to produce a slush molded automotive interior soft skin made from styrene block copolymer (SBC). Slush molding was developed as a PVC process to produce instrument panel skins, door panels, airbags and consoles. The new product provides a 30 to 40% reduction in material weight, better aging properties, and improved soft touch compared to existing materials used for skin applications. Existing slush molding equipment can be used with the compound.
PVC has many limitations including a high level of plasticizer (which tends to migrate), and flexible PVC becomes brittle and loses functionality over time. The new SBC product allows manufacturers to achieve significant improvements in low temperature performance and fogging. The additional benefits realized also include lower manufacturing costs due to reduced service temperatures and decreased processing time.