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2020-01-30

Pocan® PBT from LANXESS delivers cost-effective solution for online-paintable fuel filler flap

  • Cost-effective alternative to high-performance thermoplastics
  • Class A surface and outstanding mechanical properties
  • Potential for use in electric vehicle flaps and other body exterior applications

Pittsburgh, Pa. – January 30, 2020– In the production of automotive fuel filler flaps, customized compounds based on polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) can be a cost-effective alternative to high-performance thermoplastics. A proven example of this can be seen in the new Skoda Scala, whose fuel filter flap is made from Pocan 5221XF from specialty chemicals company LANXESS. In this application, the Pocan PBT compound was selected over a blend of polyphenylene ether and polyamide (PPE+PA). The plastic vehicle component was jointly developed by Skoda, a Tier 1 and LANXESS.

 

“Our material  offers  comparable performance when it comes to surface quality, paintability and mechanical properties, in addition to cost savings,” says Jose Chirino, technical director for the Americas region in the LANXESS High Performance Materials (HPM) business unit. “Our Pocan 5221XF material is suitable for online electrostatic painting, passing through all painting steps together with the vehicle body, contributing to cost-effective production.”

 

High dimensional accuracy, minimal warpage

Pocan B5221XF (Xtreme Flow) has been optimized to ensure good paintability and paint adhesion. Depending on the tool, it is possible to achieve a smooth, Class A surface, without unsightly sink marks. When it comes to paint adhesion, the material fulfills standard OEM requirements, such as those defined in delivery regulations TL 211 from Volkswagen and DBL5416 from Daimler. The paint layers adhere firmly to the plastic surface and can withstand the usual adhesion tests such as the cross-cut test to DIN EN ISO 2409 and steam-jet test to DIN EN ISO 16925.

 

The material, which is reinforced with 20 percent micro glass beads, exhibits isotropic shrinkage and tendency to warp is minimized, allowing it to fit in perfectly with the rear fender. “This gives it the edge over competitive materials, which are less dimensionally stable due to the tendency to absorb water, and have narrow processing conditions,” says Chirino.

 

Capable of withstanding the high temperatures of cathodic dip-coating

 

Another advantage of the PBT material is its high resistance to short-term temperatures. The heat distortion temperature as per ISO 75-1-2 (HDT/B, 0.45 MPa) is 165C, which means that the fuel filler flap can withstand the high temperatures that arise during both cathodic dip coating of the vehicle body and the drying steps of the painting process. This enables the component to pass together with the vehicle body through the online painting process, eliminating additional steps.

 

The extreme toughness of the PBT compound from LANXESS is yet another advantage, making the fuel filler flap highly robust against mechanical deformation, such as in the event of vandalism.

 

Broad application potential

Pocan B5221 XF material can be processed at lower temperatures than (PPE+PA) blends. Its high flowability makes it easier to achieve complex or large component geometries. “In addition to fuel filler flaps, this material can be used for other exterior parts, like spoilers, mirror housings, antenna covers and electric vehicle charging port flaps,” says Chirino.

 

HiAnt® customer service – an added value

Through its HiAnt engineering services, LANXESS provided Skoda with comprehensive support in the development of the fuel filler flap. LANXESS’ HiAnt service package bundles its expertise in material, application, process and simulations  to support all stages of advanced component development. For the fuel filler flap, for example, LANXESS HPM conducted mold flow and warpage simulations in order to achieve the best possible tool design and optimize the production process. Key contributions included correctly positioning the cooling ducts in the injection molding tool, defining the ideal parameters for tool tempering and calculating the optimum melting temperature. In addition, LANXESS simulated critical load cases during component testing, such as the forceful opening of a sealed fuel filler flap in a body drop test. During the sampling process and start of series production, processing experts from LANXESS provided injection molders with recommendations for process parameters, reworking the tool in regards to the gating and cooling system, and ventilation.

 

 

LANXESS is a leading specialty chemicals company with sales of EUR 7.2 billion in 2018. The company currently has about 15,500 employees in 33 countries and is represented at 57 production sites worldwide. The core business of LANXESS is the development, manufacturing and marketing of chemical intermediates, additives, specialty chemicals and plastics. LANXESS is listed in the leading sustainability indices Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI World and Europe) and FTSE4Good.

 

Forward-Looking Statements
This company release contains certain forward-looking statements, including assumptions, opinions, expectations and views of the company or cited from third party sources. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could cause the actual results, financial position, development or performance of LANXESS AG to differ materially from the estimations expressed or implied herein. LANXESS AG does not guarantee that the assumptions underlying such forward-looking statements are free from errors nor does it accept any responsibility for the future accuracy of the opinions expressed in this presentation or the actual occurrence of the forecast developments. No representation or warranty (expressed or implied) is made as to, and no reliance should be placed on, any information, estimates, targets and opinions, contained herein, and no liability whatsoever is accepted as to any errors, omissions or misstatements contained herein, and accordingly, no representative of LANXESS AG or any of its affiliated companies or any of such person's officers, directors or employees accept any liability whatsoever arising directly or indirectly from the use of this document.

 

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