At the recent VDI Conference 2014 “Plastics in Automotive Engineering”, the company Styron put its focus on its Pulse GX50 material, an mixture of polycarbonate (PC) and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) in a blend ratio which provides a 4% decrease in density compared to industry-standard PC/ABS grades, and low carbon emissions (VOC) in the range of 10 ppm. In addition, it provides very good resistance to heat distortion at practical use temperatures up to 110ºC, and high impact strength at temperatures as low as -30ºC.
The material is used, for instance, for the mid console, glove box and trunk trim of the BMW i3 series and the class pillars and door panels of the Mercedes Benz C. For BMW in particular, the UV stabilizing technology played a key role in their decision to choose this material. Until recently, BMW exclusively used painted PC/ABS parts for visible components designed in that material for its specific heat resistance and low temperature impact capabilities. However for their new models, they have adopted a new approach to use unpainted PC/ABS for uncovered/exposed parts as well. According to Styron, removing this additional paint step leads to a 50% part cost reduction.