MUNICH—Mitsubishi Chemical has developed an auto-foaming thermoplastics elastomer material, which is said to deliver significant weight savings in automotive sealing profiles.
The extrusion-grade styrenic copolymer is an addition to Mitsubishi's Tefabloc elastomers range, according to Daniel Tyrkas, director of automotive solutions at the company.
With Mitsubishi's patented technology, a single auto-foamable core grade can be extruded at around 190°C to produce foamed-core profiles, Tyrkas said at the Automotive Materials Summit, held June 17-18 in Munich. This, he said, contrasts with existing technology, in which a compact core grade and foaming masterbatch are combined in the extruder.
Auto-foamed products have a density of 0.66, compared to 0.77 for conventionally used masterbatches, delivering weight savings of up to 40 percent when compared to standard grades, according to Tyrkas.
There also are gains in terms of surface smoothness, material homogeneity and mechanical properties, he added, noting that the auto-foam material is close to full commercialization.