News, views & analysis blogs by: Teri Chouinard


Teri Chouinard :
Toyota Uses New Soliant Fluorex® Bright Film
for Branding, Styling, Cost Saves & Environmental Benefits


Teri Chouinard :
Lancaster, S.C., Soliant created a new Fluorex® bright film for the Toyota Avensis brand name to be molded into the doorstep enabling it to be completely decorated and molded in polypropylene. Soliant Fluorex® bright film also enables the Toyota brand name ‘Avensis’ to be recessed with a decorative and stylish brushed chrome appearance across the entire doorstep surface as the part is molded. “Fluorex® bright film enables more value for OEMs and tier-1 suppliers via streamlined processing, assembly and making recycling of the 100% polypropylene part easy,” said Richard Taylor, Commercial Manager for ecomold ltd., based in Scunthorpe, UK., who is moulding the part for Toyota. “The previous doorstep molding required assembling of the Avensis nameplate on the doorstep making recycling difficult,” continues Taylor.

Soliant Fluorex® bright film is supplied as a decal to ecomold ltd. A specific IMD (Injection Molding Decorating) tool is used to mold the flat decal in the correct shape. The Toyota “Avensis” brand name is pressed into the film. The narrow gap between the chrome appearance and the PP (Polypropylene) resin provides a high quality look.

Soliant Fluorex® bright film offers additional environmental benefits as it enables a chrome-like finish without the hazardous effects of electroplating. Automakers, consumers and the environment all benefit as use of Soliant Fluorex® bright film and paintfilm also encourages the use of lighter weight materials on automotive vehicles which results in better fuel economy.

Soliant won the Environmental Award in the “Emerging Technologies” category at SPE-GPEC 2006 (Society of Plastics Engineers – Global Plastics Environmental Conference), for their paint film process. Soliant demonstrated a 98% reduction in VOC emissions based on an analysis of the production and use of their product compared to traditional vehicle painting. As a frame of reference, this means that if paintfilm were used on just 5 million cars per year, the VOC reduction would be the equivalent of eliminating the current emissions of Atlanta and several other similar sized cities. Soliant met all GPEC Award Criteria including leadership in plastics and the environment, generating significant economic value, and creating new markets (paint alternatives) that will benefit the environment and the quality of life.

Soliant Fluorex® bright film and paintfilm is gaining popularity amongst automakers looking to improve vehicle exterior quality and appearance with more durable finishes. Gravelometer laboratory tests and field tests show that paintfilm is much more chip resistant and weather resistant than paint. This gives automakers more value and less warranty issues.

In addition to offering greater durability, Soliant Fluorex® paintfilm is also driving major manufacturing cost saves. An immediate cost save results as automakers save a step in the manufacturing process as paintfilm parts are finished right out of the mold. Soliant Fluorex® bright film and paintfilm are compatible with extrusion, thermoforming, injection molding and compression molding enabling multiple parts to be processed with one film. The versatility of Soliant Fluorex® bright film and paintfilm also gives automakers the ability to achieve multiple looks and decorating options with the same tool and process. The biggest cost save results in new plants as there is no need to install or maintain a painting facility which can be millions of dollars. Further cost saves result as there are also no environmental compliance issues associated with the use of Soliant Fluorex® bright film and paintfilm.

Soliant has a 20-year history as a producer of paintfilm products for automakers that are capable of covering all decorated surfaces. Their paintfilm products are used by all OEMs on numerous vehicle models. Over 40 million parts with paintfilm have been in the field over the last 5 years without issue. Soliant currently offers 140 colors under the Fluorex® brand name for automotive vehicle interior and exterior applications and will match any color and create new ones to help customers differentiate their offerings. Over 1,400 different colors have been produced or matched to date. Uni-, metallic and pearlescent colors are available to the same standards as current spray-paint systems.

Soliant LLC is headquartered in Lancaster, South Carolina with sales offices in Detroit and The Netherlands. The company has an R & D facility in Lancaster that is developing products to meet growing market demands and to support customers. The Fluorex® paintfilms and coatings are well known in the industry and have been in use for over 20 years. They are used in the automotive, heavy truck, appliance, recreational, consumer electronics, marine, architectural and signage industry on a variety of parts and components.

For more information contact:
Pieter van der Ster

Business Manager Soliant BV

Saturnusweg 4C

6971GX Brummen

The Netherlands

Phone: +31 575 56 56 44

Fax: +31 575 56 57 33

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