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Breaking the Performance Barrier in Automotive Interiors

SpecialChem / Mar 17, 2010

The U.S. automotive industry has gone through huge transformations in the past 30 years, starting with the structure of the industry, where the dominance of the Big Three has been challenged by global players. Improvements in on-the-road performance have made exponential step changes as well. The performance improvements cover multi-dimensional aspects like fuel efficiency, robustness, safety features and comforts to name a few. Interior automotive design has also undergone broad changes to improve ergonomics, functionality and appeal. Not the least of these is the expanded use of durable plastic materials, which now account for the majority of the human-contact surfaces. In this article, we focus on the needs of interior car coatings. These coatings are driven by three criteria: look, feel and functionality. While look and feel are a function of fashion trends and are relatively short lived, the demands in functionality are usually step changes in terms of physical and chemical resistance properties which, in turn, are intended to preserve the look and feel of the coating.

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