Pittsburgh, October 29, 2013 — In response to growing market demand for a one-step, combined molding process that can efficiently produce parts with customizable color, texture and comfort, Bayer MaterialScience LLC is opening a DirectCoating/DirectSkinning (DC/DS) technology cell at its Pittsburgh headquarters.
The DC/DS technology combines conventional thermoplastic injection molding with reaction injection molding (RIM) in a single tool – delivering a hard polycarbonate blend substrate with an ultraviolet-stabilized, scratch- and chemical-resistant polyurethane coating or aliphatic polyurethane self-skinning foam.
“Opening the DC/DS technology cell is an indication of our commitment to providing advanced materials and technologies to support our customers,” said Ignacio Osio, key growth program manager, Bayer MaterialScience LLC. “Having DC/DS capabilities in Pittsburgh will give us an opportunity to produce prototype parts that demonstrate the range and efficient beauty of this technology.”
Conventional processes require multiple steps to create a hard plastic component with a soft finish. Manufacturers would first mold the hard substrate and then transfer it to another piece of equipment to apply a finish. DC/DS technology shortens this process. The technology is based on the principle of integrating injection molding and RIM. DC/DS technology uses similar equipment and utilizes a polycarbonate or polycarbonate blend substrate overmolded with a layer of polyurethane.
In DirectCoating, the polyurethane layer is about 0.1 to 1 mm thick. Coatings can be clear or opaque, hard, soft touch or textured. The technology uses raw materials from Bayer and is procured by manufacturers via selected coatings vendors.
DirectSkinning can use a solids system in which the polyurethane layer is approximately 1 to 4 mm thick. It is opaque and forms a tough skin, similar to leather, with a comfortable touch – ideal for improving grip on products such as power tools.
Integrating polyurethane processing into an injection molding machine increases production efficiency and achieves outstanding part properties. The ultra-low volatile organic compound (VOC) process also eliminates the need for painting and the associated overspray common to traditional in-mold painting.
DC/DS technology is ideal for manufacturers of high-end, yet cost-effective products in consumer and industrial markets, such as cases for electronic devices and automotive interior or exterior trim parts.
Bayer installed a KraussMaffei 420 CX machine with 420 metric tons of clamping force that will also have a second vertical barrel for two-shot applications and an accumulator for high-speed, thin-wall molding. It is capable of gas-assist and injection-compression processes. A KraussMaffei RIM Star Compact will be used for the RIM part of the process.
About Bayer MaterialScience LLC:
Bayer MaterialScience LLC is one of the leading producers of high-performance plastics in North America and is part of the global Bayer MaterialScience business with approximately 14,500 employees at 30 production sites around the world and 2012 sales of 11.5 billion euros. The company manufactures high-tech polymer materials and develops innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, electrical and electronics, construction, medical, and sports and leisure industries. Sustainability is central to Bayer MaterialScience LLC’s business and is based around the key areas of innovation, product stewardship, social responsibility and respect for the environment.
For more information about Bayer MaterialScience LLC visit www.solutions.covestro.com/en/materials/plastics.
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