2011-05-17

Uncoated truck radiator grille made from PBT+PC blend

Pocan C 1202, a blend of polybutylene terephthalate and polycarbonate (PBT+PC) newly developed by LANXESS for large exterior truck components, has proven highly effective in an initial series application. It is used to manufacture the uncoated radiator grille for the FMX Construction Truck in the FM series. This was fitted with a completely new front section by Volvo Trucks Corporation that is specially adapted to the harsh operating conditions in construction site traffic. “Our material had the edge because it gives components a high-quality, sufficiently weather-resistant surface that has a fine grain pattern and no longer needs to be coated. It also demonstrates a high toughness level that makes the radiator grille resistant to stone chippings and other mechanical stresses,” explained Milan Vignjevic, General Manager for the Asia-Pacific business at LANXESS’ Semi-Crystalline Products business unit.

With dimensions of around 180 x 35 x 4 centimeters, the radiator grille is very large for an injection-molded part. For that reason the relevant mold is filled using cascade technology. Latching lugs and mounting domes can also be reproduced reliably at the end of the flow path. In addition, the excellent flow behavior causes only minimal distortion and ensures the fine grain pattern can be reproduced with great precision. The ease of removal from the mold and the low and consistent shrinkage complement the material’s outstanding processing behavior.

In order to cut costs, the radiator grille is not coated. Accelerated, artificial weathering tests on test pieces with Thundergrey paint, for example, showed that the PBT blend meets the requirements for UV stability based on the Volvo standard. Good chemical resistance was also called for. The material shows excellent resistance to elements that vehicles encounter on an everyday basis, such as road salt, grease, oil, diesel, liquid coolant, AdBlue urea solutions, battery acid, and insect and windshield cleaners.
 
LANXESS has now developed a wide range of PBT blends for truck paneling and moldings such as fenders, wind deflectors, A pillars, bumpers and access steps.  These materials meet specific needs in each case, enabling us to offer very stiff, low-distortion or easily coatable blend varieties. Numerous projects on large external components in the driver’s cab are currently under way using these PBT grades in conjunction with truck manufacturers and system suppliers.

LANXESS is a leading specialty chemicals company with sales of EUR 7.1 billion in 2010 and currently around 15,500 employees in 30 countries. The company is at present represented at 46 production sites worldwide. The core business of LANXESS is the development, manufacturing and marketing of plastics, rubber, intermediates and specialty chemicals.

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