Trust in good performance of the material and the Trinseo team
Our customer Audi is always on the lookout for cost-effective, high-performance raw material solutions to improve the aesthetics, haptics, and functionality of unlacquered surfaces in its platforms' automotive interior applications. Trinseo's VELVEX™ Reinforced Elastomers products are ideally suited to Audi's challenging requirements.
For the new Audi A6/A7, the supplier Samvardhana Motherson Peguform (SMP) needed a cost-effective material solution providing enhanced soft touch and excellent haptics, high scratch resistance and low gloss levels in combination with excellent weatherability. VELVEX™ 5250 ESU meets these high requirements, and our customers already know the benefits of Trinseo's reinforced elastomer from test moldings. The VELVEX™ grade had been tested using the molds from the door panels of the Audi A3 convertible. The product was developed by Development Leader Norwin van Riel and his team, and it is approved against the Audi specification TL 52705-A.
It was obvious for Audi to contact our team because of the successful testing of the material for the A3. Another reason for the OEM's decision was the very good collaboration with the Trinseo team on the A3 and many other projects. Additionally, VELVEX™ 5250 ESU provides a significant economic advantage without any loss of quality or performance.
First reviews from international car magazines are very positive and praise the outstanding aesthetics and feel of the new A6/7's interiors. The media attest that the new Audi models offer high-quality interior materials and an upscale cabin even by luxury-car standard.
VELVEX™ 5250 ESU successfully passed tough tests
SMP, Audi, and our team started the project in 2015 with extensive tests of VELVEX™ 5250 ESU not only under the usual laboratory conditions but also in outdoor tests under tough conditions. Our partners produced test parts using the injection molding tool from the A3 door modules for this purpose. Test workpieces were brought to testing locations in the Kalahari Desert, Southern Africa and a challenging environment in Arizona, USA. VELVEX™ 5250 ESU successfully passed the 18-month testing phase under extreme weather and environmental conditions.
Based on the good results the Trinseo accounting team with Claus Hermans (Technical Service & Development), Thomas Heck (Application Design Engineer) and Alessandro Salato (Key Account Manager) entered into discussions with our Audi contacts and succeeded in positioning VELVEX™ 5250 ESU as the material of choice for the door pocket components of Audi's C8 platform, the models A6/A7.
Key advantages of VELVEX™ 5250 ESU
Excellent part performance accompanied by easy processing enabling a cost-efficient, high-throughput production process.
A unique combination of best-in-class scratch-and-mar resistance and a uniform low gloss – which is better than established materials (most talc-filled PP, PA/ABS or ABS products). This provides extended surface durability of even highly stressed applications.
High stability and strength:
The high level of stability and strength is a result of the unique property balance of good stiffness, high impact and heat resistance in combination with a low CLTE.
Cost-efficient premium interior experience:
VELVEX™ 5250 ESU offers a cost-efficient opportunity for premium surfaces, providing a luxurious interior experience in vehicles. In the past, this high-end appearance had to be obtained through painted parts, which was at increased cost because of the need for an additional painting step. Trinseo's reinforced elastomers solution closes the gap between the need to balance technical and aesthetic performance and need for affordable solutions.
Seamless support by fine-tuning and tooling advice
After Audi's decision to go with our factory-colored reinforced elastomer, Color Development Expert Eric Goethals from the Trinseo Coloring Group immediately started the fine-tuning of the three Audi colors involved – Soul, Granite Grey, and Pearl Beige – for the applications made with VELVEX™ 5250 ESU.
During this phase of the development, Claus Hermans and Thomas Heck supported SMP with the delivery of the first lot of substrate for the door pocket tooling trials in China, where our local Trinseo TS&D colleagues helped SMP with their technical expertise. After this first phase, the tools were sent to SMP's German plant in Bötzingen, Germany. Here we proactively continued our support of further trials with tool design recommendations. This helped to enhance the quality of the unlacquered application surface that needs to show a perfect reproduction of the tool texture without any defects.
In this case VELVEX™ 5250 ESU once again proved its core benefits for unlacquered automotive applications and beat a competitor's material. Fortunately, the successful follow-up project with SMP and Audi aroused interest among various other tiers who are considering the use of our affordable high-quality reinforced elastomer for future applications.
Learn more about this case and the opportunities that our VELVEX™ Reinforced Elastomers offer. Contact one of our colleagues:
Claus Hermans, Technical Service & Development at firstname.lastname@example.org
Eric Goethals, Color Development Expert at email@example.com
Thomas Heck, Application Development Manager for Audi at firstname.lastname@example.org