Luxus calls for the auto industry to re-think its materials choices
15 September 2017Technical compounder Luxus will be showcasing its high-performance PP based compounds range, able to deliver technical properties to rival some more expensive engineered polymers in demanding auto interior components. All on stand E50 at the Engineering Design Show, 18th-19th October 2017.
Peter Atterby, managing director, Luxus explains: “We believe that modern PP compounds will encourage auto engineers to completely re-think their materials choices. The adoption of advanced additives means that PP based compounds can now be used where previously the technical properties of the application would have demanded costly ‘off the shelf’ engineering polymer.
“The ‘off the shelf’ (unmodified) polymer is currently chosen at the design stage, since it offers a known performance - despite some properties being irrelevant to the application itself. This means that when cost considerations come into play later, there is an option instead to create a workable, yet more economic PP compound that is tailor-made to component specifications.
“Modern high-performance PP compounds therefore, can create a superior product compared to the individual components in the typical polymer mix. A profit opportunity that the automotive industry is only just beginning to realize.”
The industry’s need to satisfy increasing targets set by ‘end-of-life’ vehicle (ELV), producer responsibility regulations are also being addressed by Luxus. The compounder has recently secured £1.29m investment funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation initiative to commercialise a range of novel near-infrared (NIR) detectable colourants for adoption in automotive applications and other markets.
Luxus leads a consortium for the commercialisation project known as NIRSort, with support from fellow Nordic polymer processing partner, Polykemi and global plastics manufacturer One51.
Each year 3.5 million tonnes of polymer are scraped in the UK alone, since black and some other coloured plastics cannot be picked up by recycling sorters. As these products contain carbon black that reflects very little or no radiation rendering it ‘invisible’ to sorting machines in recycling plants.
Adoption of this technology will enable NIR sorting operations to segregate black and coloured plastics they produce from streams to a purity that they will be useable in highly engineered polymers. This will allow manufacturers to meet their obligations, reduce landfill and contribute to lifecycle analysis requirements too.
Finally, Hycolene™ an environmentally positive, advanced lightweight, scratch resistant thermoplastics range developed for Class ‘A’ auto interiors will also be showcased.
The range is low density, while offering up to 60 per cent recycled content with the option for prime grades too. Hycolene™ satisfies the rapid cycle times now set by OEMs and Tier 1 manufacturers while delivering at the same time significant Co2 reduction benefits.