Automotive projects are increasingly characterised by cooperation between raw materials companies, moulders, designers and tier suppliers. UTECH-polyurethane.com found some examples.
There is a common theme among many of these developments and that is the use of in-mould coating, often with a polyurethane primer. This process has production benefits for automotive companies and their suppliers. It allows process integration, removing the need for post processing such as sanding or trimming parts before they are primed and eventually painted and so saving cost.
We take two examples one featuring Hennecke machinery, the other KraussMaffei (KM) machinery to show how this technique can work equally well with either foamed polyurethane products, or long fibre reinforced polyurethane composites.
Indupol, based in Arendonk, Belgium, makes components for truck and bus makers. The firm is working with Hennecke to produce rigid polyurethane foam components with a painted surface for truck cabs.
Hennecke said it was approached by Indupol with a part that featured extreme mould geometry, which made filling the mould with polyurethane difficult.
A consortium including BASF, which supplied the polyurethane system, and Bomix, which contributed paint and release agents, was formed to find a way to produce the components.
Hennecke said its specialists carried out several series of tests in its technical centre to develop a two-stage process. In the first…