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Audi selected a new Softell polypropylene compound from LyondellBasell

February 21/2011

(LyondellBasell) -- Audi has selected a new Softell polypropylene (PP) compound from LyondellBasell to manufacture the rear door panel of its new A1 model. Use of the new grade has enabled the auto maker to produce an interior part with exceptional surface aesthetics and soft-touch qualities, without the need for typically required painting.

Interior applications in premium-class models have been dominated by other polymer solutions such as PC/ABS (polycarbonate/acrynitril butadiene styrene) with soft-touch painting.

The gloss level of a conventional PP compound is between 2 and 3 GUs (measured at an angle of 60°). Tests conducted using a gloss meter show that Softell resins have a gloss level below 1.5, which is required to achieve good matt surface characteristics. To attain this level of gloss, the use of soft-painted surfaces typically has been required.

Compared to traditional polymers, the grade also provides the automaker with improved flowability in high shear and injection molding conditions.

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