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Mercedes Benz Picks Polykemi’s New GFR PP Compound for Sun Visors’ Inside Frames

Published on 2016-02-01. Author : SpecialChem

Mercedes Benz has had their eyes on a quite interesting Polykemi's material for some time. Their target in mind was to replace a PBT with glass fibers currently used in the inside frames of sun visors. Since this Polykemi material indeed has properties that you really wouldn’t expect from a polypropylene based compound, this development project has turned out to be very successful and Mercedes is currently using the high performance PP based 40% glass fiber reinforced compound - being one member of the POLYfill PP HC-family.

Mercedes Benz Picks Polykemi’s New GFR PP Compound for Sun Visors’ Inside Frames
Fig. 1: Mercedes Benz Picks Polykemi’s New GFR PP Compound for Sun Visors’ Inside Frames

Polykemi’s new material is substantially lighter. Mercedes Benz is very much appreciating the help to reducing the weight of their cars – resulting in lower fuel consumption and reduction of CO2 emissions, important for the next step within EEC in year 2020 when new lower limits for CO2 emissions for new cars will be launched. For the time being the Polykemi’s POLYfill HC-material is used in the Mercedes C-class cars, but Mercedes also opens up for the possibility of this grade also being used in further models reveals Mr. Richard Vanselow – MD of Polykemi´s German subsidiary.

Official material approval!

The technical properties of the Polykemis material resembles glass fiber filled PBT and PA6 and in many applications it is indeed possible to replace those grades. Polykemi has an official approval by Mercedes Benz according to “Werknorm” DBL 5404.45 and is listed (from 10 – 40% GF content) on the APS- list for approved materials - “Qualified interior raw materials from localized production”. So far the approval is valid for Europe and also the work for obtaining approvals also for North America and Asia is intense and very close together with the Polykemi subsidiaries in US and China.

Polykemis POLYfill PPH GF5040HC is used for the inside frames of the sun visors in the Mercedes C-Class.
Inside frame - sun visor - used in Mercedes Benz C-Class
Fig. 2:
Inside frame - sun visor - used in Mercedes Benz C-Class

A specially designed sun visor frame!

The principles - thinking in new directions, to see new possibilities and to question traditional solutions has been guide lines both for material choice and part construction…

  • The frame is designed in a special way so the supporting structure could be made in one material only, rather than before when the business mostly used combinations of metal & plastics. Previously this part was produced in glass fiber reinforced PBT but now the material choice is POLYfill HC. With a mono-material solution you don´t have to use complex methods of manufacturing and thus costs are saved. Thanks to Polykemi’s material also the part weight also has been decreased informs Mr. Henrik Eriksson R&D manager of Polykemi.
    • Of course it’s been extra interesting and exciting to contribute in the development of this new concept in close cooperation with Mercedes Benz - one of the world leading automotive producers. Company could show its ability to give support from in-house R&D departments and this fact is an important feature of benefit also for other future new world wide projects for OEM´s, TIER 1,2,3 as well as suppliers - underlines Mr. Richard Vanselow.
    • High performance glass fiber reinforced PP has been on the market for some years but still not in too many large volume applications. Recently we have seen some practical examples that the automotive industry has started to understand that this modern PP-material can be a workable strong option in areas where the technical properties before has called for PA6 or PBT solutions. Now the benefits of this insight is really starting to show, ends Mr. Henrik Eriksson, R&D manager at Polykemi.

About Polykemi

Since its inception in 1968, Polykemi’s mission has been the same: to strive to produce the best custom-designed plastic compounds in the world. It offers customized product line and accomplishes this through its documented expertise in color matching, multiple reinforcements and fibers a wide variety of base polymers. Its strategy is to work closely with customers, guided by its principles: reliability, excellence, superior problem-solving and long-term customer relationships.

Source: Polykemi

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