Resins for Color and Effect

As automakers seek to enhance the perception of style and value in smaller cars and add luxury to high-end vehicles, they are turning to SABIC Innovative Plastics’ special resin colors and effects.

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As automakers seek to enhance the perception of style and value in smaller cars and add luxury to high-end vehicles, they are turning to SABIC Innovative Plastics’ special resin colors and effects. Among the latest trends is the use of translucent and transparent resins paired with underlying textures and patterns on ordinary interior components such as steering wheels, door trim, and consoles. SABIC Innovative Plastic has developed a portfolio of Visualfx resins that add colors and effects to the designer’s toolkit. In addition, the plastics leader is providing transparent and translucent resins for special processes such as two-shot molding and hydrographics.

Two-shot molding involves layering translucent or transparent resin on top of a transparent, translucent, or opaque resin. The top layer gives the part added depth. Hydrographics technology calls for immersing a part in an ink pattern floating on water like a film. The pattern adheres to the part, adding design interest. Also, the pattern can wrap around the part to provide better coverage than with traditional in-mold decoration applications. A clear coat is utilized after the hydrographics process to protect the film. These two processes have been used in combination for several different versions of the steering wheel for DaimlerChrysler’s 300C model. One version used opaque gray resin with transparent gray Lexan resin and hydrographics. Another featured a tortoiseshell look by using transparent, amber Lexan resin in a two-shot process with hydrographics.