TPE Checks the Boxes
Plastics supplier KRAIBURG has developed a thermoplastic elastomer lineup—the VS/AD/HM series within the THERMOLAST K suite—that checks the boxes of scratch and abrasion resistance, chemical compatibility and UV stability.
Here is an interesting circumstance that, while specific to the task at hand, has probably occurred more than once to designers and engineers, albeit under different, specific, circumstances: A soft-touch rolling cover for an automotive interior trim application is designed and prototyped using a thermoplastic material, and although the material used passes the scratch-resistance test, the UV and chemical resistance tests result in a fail. So the material is a no-go.
Plastics supplier KRAIBURG has developed a thermoplastic elastomer lineup—the VS/AD/HM series within the THERMOLAST K suite—that checks the boxes of scratch and abrasion resistance, chemical compatibility and UV stability. They offer a Shore A hardness from 60 to 80, tensile strength to 15 MPa, and tear strength up to 30 N/mm.
Which means that this injection molding material checks all of the boxes. Color matching with other materials in the vehicle is good (let’s face it: for an application like the console cover is something that is going to be quite obvious, given its central position), and it has the soft-touch feel that is necessary for applications of this nature.
All of which is to say, if only those people had started out with that material rather than the other one. . . .
For the high-performance Corvette Z06 GM defied tradition and switched from a steel to an aluminum frame.
The engineers at Zenos Cars have combined recycled carbon fiber, drinking straws and aluminum to create a chassis for a low-volume sports car.
How carbon fiber is utilized is as different as the vehicles on which it is used. From full carbon tubs to partial panels to welded steel tube sandwich structures, the only limitation is imagination.