Automotive interior coatings/surfaces have two major functions. They achieve a decorative appearance and are warm to the touch, thereby making occupants feel "at home" in a car. In automotive interiors, two kinds of substrate materials are predominantly used: plastic and leather.
Plastic-based mock wood trimmings have typically replaced actual timber elements. Given the fogging/VOC requirements for OEMs, solvent-free coatings are frequently used.
Soft-feel coating is the technical term for matte coatings on instrument panels, knobs, armrests, etc. They have pleasantly warm haptic qualities. ACEMATT® 3300, a highly advanced, thermally treated silica characterized by very good matting efficiency combined with a high degree of transparency, has been developed for use in soft-feel coatings to satisfy discerning haptic demands.
AEROSIL® fumed silica is mainly used to control rheological characteristics, as a thixotroping agent, or as an anti-settling agent.
Interior wooden components feature a high-built clear coating now generated from 100% systems, either via RIM processes based on VESTANAT® crosslinkers or UV-curing using VISIOMER® methacrylates.
Leather is increasingly popular as a material for interior trimmings - not just for seats, but for instrument panels, too. This substrate is one of the first ever to have been finished with PUD-based water-borne coatings containing VESTANAT® monomers and frequently crosslinked with hydrophilic PUR crosslinkers. The application processes, physio-mechanical treatments used in working the leather, and, most importantly, correct formulation of the various layers all significantly influence the ability to develop a desirable finish that adequately meets the demands for the final leather product—that is, the desired feel and levels of chemical, physical, and mechanical resistance. TEGO® additives provide superior solutions for many aspects of leather finishing.
As an alternative to PVC materials, aliphatic PUR skins base on VESTANAT® monomers are increasingly used for interior surfaces, achieving outstanding haptic qualities and appearance when manufactured using spray or powder-slush processes.