Canadian Plastics

Bayer acquires IP from bankrupt auto parts supplier

Bayer MaterialScience has announced that it has purchased the thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPU) related intellectua...

February 11, 2008   Canadian Plastics

Bayer MaterialScience has announced that it has purchased the thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPU) related intellectual property rights from bankrupt auto parts supplier Collins & Aikman (C&A). The company said the acquisition will help it extend its portfolio of TPU molded skins used in instrument panels in vehicle interiors.

Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

Bayer said C&A’s “size-reduction technologies” — which lend powder particles a specific shape and a size distribution that enables superior flow in the mold during the melting process — were a “critical factor” in the decision to buy the TPU IP rights.

Bayer MaterialScience explained that the TPU grades produced are ideal for slush molding (sintering), which is used to mass-produced molded skins for instrument panels. Also, the uniform size of the powder particles enables components to be produced in the quality required by the industry when the design includes deep undercuts, sharp radii, surface logos and a deep grain.

In the future, the company is hoping to offer the TPU product as a coloured powder that matches the OEM-specified interior colours, and noted that it can now provide a material technology for molded skins in instrument panels.

“The surface material for instrument panels must remain ductile even at temperatures below -30 degrees Celsius. This is one of the OEM’s main performance requirements, in order to prevent splintering when the airbag is deployed,” said TPU Resins Business Unit head Mike Zierden. “The new TPU formulation in our portfolio offers superior mechanical properties, including excellent scratch resistance.”


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