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New process to achieve piano black finish for automotive trim components

New process to achieve piano black finish for automotive trim components

High-gloss, piano black is a growing trend for interior and exterior automotive trim components. With today’s traditional three-layer coating process, automakers face the challenges of obtaining a high-quality finish while dealing with high rejection rates and absorbing high painting costs. To overcome these limitations, Hyundai America Technical Center, Inc. (HATCI) collaborated with Covestro LLC to explore a new processing technique called Direct Coating.


Direct Coating technology will be the focus of a presentation by Amanda Nummy, materials engineer, HATCI, at WCX™18: SAE World Congress Experience in Detroit. On Thursday, April 12 at 9 a.m., Nummy will present “Direct Coating Technology for Improved Piano Black Appearance and Scratch Resistance.”


Direct Coating technology combines conventional thermoplastic injection molding with reaction injection molding (RIM) in a single tool – delivering a hard polycarbonate blend substrate with an ultraviolet-stabilized, scratch- and chemical-resistant polyurethane coating with a piano black finish. Direct Coating offers cost reduction, provides greater design flexibility, eliminates the need for painting and results in a durable finish.


Nummy’s presentation will share the results of a development project for an exterior trim piece to assess Direct Coating for exterior components. The successfully produced prototypes utilized a Covestro PC+ABS blend material and commercially available aliphatic polyurethane coating raw materials. The selected materials were tailored to optimize adhesion between the two material formulations while also meeting the chemical and mechanical performance requirements of the finished part.


“Direct Coating is a promising solution for a wide variety of decorative and functional automotive trim components,” said Nummy. “I’d like to thank the Covestro team for providing valuable development support and technical knowledge.”

“We frequently collaborate with automakers to solve materials and processing challenges and in doing so, help  them meet consumers’ desires for stylish vehicles,” said Jessee McCanna, Direct Coating program lead, Covestro LLC. “With its ability to reduce overall part cost while adding performance, design freedom and product differentiation, Direct Coating technology offers auto OEMs a way to really set themselves apart from the competition.”

WCX™18 will take place April 10-12, at the Cobo Center in Detroit and attracts more than 11,000 mobility-engineering professionals.


About Covestro LLC:

Covestro LLC is one of the leading producers of high-performance polymers in North America and is part of the global Covestro business, which is among the world’s largest polymer companies with 2017 sales of EUR 14.1 billion. Business activities are focused on the manufacture of high-tech polymer materials and the development of innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, construction, wood processing and furniture, electrical and electronics, and medical industries. Other sectors include sports and leisure, cosmetics and the chemical industry itself. Covestro has 30 production sites worldwide and employed approximately 16,200 people at the end of 2017.


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About Hyundai America Technical Center, Inc. :

As one of Hyundai Motor Group’s (HMG) six centers focused on research and development (R&D), Hyundai America Technical Center, Inc. (HATCI) was established in 1986 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. HATCI is HMG’s design, technology and engineering division for North America. As HMG solidified its position as one of the top five global OEMs, HATCI has grown to include a strong network of engineering disciplines and increased business-focused activities to support North America’s Voice of the Customer.


HATCI supports new model development for HMG’s North American operations and global programs from our dedicated engineering facilities and support staff at affiliate sites located throughout the United States (Alabama, California, Georgia, Michigan and Washington D.C.). HATCI’s success in satisfying the demands of increasingly sophisticated consumers is a direct result of HMG’s commitment to the future of American automotive engineering. HATCI upholds a strong R&D philosophy hinged on creative and passionate input of all team members. This philosophy is paramount to HMG’s North American operational strategy and serves as the foundation for engineering excellence and technological advancement.


More information about Hyundai Motor and its products can be found at:

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