Asahi Kasei is introducing today a specially developed polyolefin at NPE2015 that significantly improves the surface finish of parts molded with MuCell microcellular foaming technology. The compound is commercially available and will target housings for a variety of consumer applications such as coffee makers as well as housings for power tools.
“In the past we have walked away from applications like that,” Stephan G. Braig, president and CEO of Trexel, said in an interview shortly after the show opened. One of the challenges of foaming technology has been poor surface aesthetics.
Additional benefits of the new family of Asahi Kasei Thermylene polypropylene specialty compound grade include a 10 percent weight reduction and “significant” warpage reduction, according to the supplier. It is expected that the material will be sold at a slight premium to previous grades of polyolefin used for comparable applications.
Braig said in the interview with the research development is “very close” to a class A surface finish that would allow the MuCell process to be used for appearance parts in cars. MuCell has gained wide acceptance for use in instrument panels that have some type of covering.
The material will be supplied from an Asahi Kasei compounding plant in Michigan.