New styrene copolymers for attractive surfaces

Top Quote Among BASF’s styrene copolymers, the specialty series Terblend® N, Terluran® HH and Luran® S cover a particularly broad range of applications. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) July 07, 2010 - Presentation by Dr. Marko Blinzler
    Product Development Styrene Copolymer Specialties
    BASF SE, Ludwigshafen, Germany

    Among BASF’s styrene copolymers, the specialty series Terblend® N, Terluran® HH and Luran® S cover a particularly broad range of applications. The product developers in the realm of styrenics have refined these products – which have already proven their worth in many applications – to give them even more attractive surfaces, higher temperature or UV resistance, and improved flow properties.

    New blend: light-fast and impact-resistant

    Users are familiar with Terblend N mainly as a material that allows the creation of matt surfaces without coating and that offers a favorable profile in terms of acoustics and feel. A new item in this product line is Terblend N BX 13043, BASF’s first ASA/PA blend, which still bears its research designation. Up to now, Terblend N only comprised ABS/PA blends. In the new material, ABS (acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene copolymer) has been replaced by ASA (acrylonitrile-styrene-acrylate copolymer).

    Thanks to a technically sophisticated combination, the new blend has managed to unite toughness, flowability and UV stability in an unprecedented manner. Neither strong sun exposure nor a vigorous kick can do any harm to components made of Terblend N BX 13043. Moreover, the new blend is more chemical-resistant than current Terblend N grades. In weathering tests that simulate exposure to sunlight at high temperatures (accelerated weathering, VW standard PV 1303), for up to 1000 hours, the ASA/PA blend exhibited results that were comparable to UV-stabilized Luran S (ASA) and considerably better than conventional ABS/PA blends. Owing to its improved properties of use and ease of processing, the ASA/PA blend of the Terblend N family opens up the possibility of new applications that are exposed to a great deal of light such as garden chairs or rear window shelves in cars.

    When it comes to the classic area of application for Terblend N, namely, vehicle interiors, the improved UV resistance is of special significance. Here, the improved light fastness makes this material even more attractive. In contrast, what counts for recreational equipment and gardening tools is mainly toughness and sturdiness. In all of these applications, the new material, like all of the other members of the Terblend N family, can be used uncoated, thus making it very cost-effective.

    Terblend N BX 13043 – showcased for the first time as a development product in October of 2009 at the Fakuma – is available in commercial quantities since the beginning of this year.

    Easier to process and easier on the eyes

    Both new TerblendN grades, NM-21 EF and NG-02 EF, where EF stands for “excellent flow”, do justice to the trend towards enhanced flowability and thus more energy-efficient and cost-effective processing. Thanks to its good flow behavior, the first product is even easier to process by means of injection molding, so that it can be used for large and complex visible parts such as center consoles in vehicle interiors or motorcycle fairing parts, all with an even better surface quality. The glassfiber-reinforced Terblend N NG-02 EF combines improved flowability with high mechanical strength. Its impact resistance, which is good despite the glassfiber reinforcement, also makes this styrene plastic blend so sturdy that it lends itself very well for highly stressed, thin-walled parts. Furthermore, both grades stand out for their enhanced dimensional stability under heat.

    Heat stability – high stiffness – good flow

    Terluran High Heat (HH), as the name says, is BASF’s particularly heat-resistant ABS. Even at temperatures up to 112 degrees Celsius [234 degrees Fahrenheit], this modified ABS remains very dimensionally accurate and keeps its shape. The mechanical properties characterize Terluran HH as a stiff, hard as well as impact-resistant material. The material is easy to process. Finished parts made of this material can be easily and reliably coated as well as metallized. Usually, however, ABS’s high heat stability causes the material to lose toughness and flowability. BASF researchers have now succeeded in modifying the formulation in such a way that these properties are retained.

    The new type Terluran HH 102 combines this extraordinary toughness and flowability with the high-gloss surface for which this product group is known, as well as a particularly low level of blooming. Thanks to its high scratch and abrasion resistance, components made of Terluran HH 102 still look attractive even after a long period of time. The durability and attractive appearance of the material also come in very handy for household appliances such as vacuum cleaners. A renowned manufacturer is currently testing this special ABS in the housing of a new vacuum cleaner model. The technical release of this product has already been issued. Its market launch is scheduled for the third quarter of 2010.

    Sturdy make-up for exterior applications

    BASF’s ASA, Luran S, creates pretty, colorful surfaces for exterior use that retain their high brilliance, even after many years. This copolymer is not only suitable for processing by means of injection molding, but it also lends itself very well for the mono-extrusion and co-extrusion of panels and profiles. It is precisely for this processing technique that a novel material has now been created: Luran S 767 KE, with its improved flowability and gloss-optimized formulation – unlike the grades known so far – can be readily co-extruded with PVC, even at low melt temperatures. It imparts co-extruded cover layers on PVC exterior applications with a surface that adheres well, is highly glossy and also withstands weathering much better than pure PVC. Together with the properties of the new grade, the well-known color brilliance and durability of Luran S make this product suitable for applications such as color-fast and high-gloss gutters that are easy to adapt to the design of the house. But other connecting parts on the outer skin of buildings and roof coverings are also potential applications for this new material that can be not only extruded but also injection-molded. Luran S 767 KE recently went into the serial production of Plasa, a gutter made by the Plastmo Polska SP. z o.o. company in Poland.

    Luran S – Taking it to the next level

    Color fastness and surface quality are crucial aspects when it comes to applications made of Luran S. In order for these properties to be retained to the greatest extent possible, even for challenging colors and during prolonged outdoor use, BASF researchers are constantly looking for new ways to improve and refine UV stabilization. A new approach has recently shown great optimization potential: in a test run for the simulation of weathering, a completely new stabilization for snow-white as well as pitch-black surfaces attained a substantially better color constancy than did the standard product. The advantages in terms of gloss retention and color fastness were particularly evident in the case of prolonged exposure to light (many thousand hours). This effect will pay dividends not only in the automotive industry but also in the construction sector. Preparing the market launch, the new UV-stabilized grades are now undergoing thorough testing in the laboratory.

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