For the first time ever, the Ultramid Vision product from BASF has been used in a car interior. It is a semi-crystalline polyamide that was incorporated in the window regulator module of a German car company and offers very high level of light transmission with low light scattering when compared to opaque standard polyamides. It would serve as just the right material for use with the illuminated symbols on the window regulators and for setting the exterior mirrors.
According to BASF, thanks to the unique characteristics of the material, it can be used for making semi-transparent and translucent components. It has high levels of UV and temperature resistance, scratch resistance and chemical resistance and would be useful in all components which involve visual control or light design. It can be easily combined with other polyamide materials in multi-component injection molding processes for the manufacture of multifunctional components having transparent or illuminated areas.
“In the 2K injection molding process used here, Ultramid Vision demonstrates good adhesion to the switch housing, which consists of glass fibre-reinforced polyamide. This was an important argument in favor of using Ultramid Vision,” explained Dr. Rainer Xalter, product developer in the Performance Materials division at BASF.
He went on to add that another criterion for its selection was the homogeneous light transmittance. One key requirement was to allow as much light to pass through as possible, with the transmitted light to have a high color fidelity. Ultramid Vision B3K WT15490 proved to be the right solution for the white symbols and Ultramid Vision B3K DLT UN (DLT = diffuse light transmission, UN = uncolored) for the red status displays.
Ultramid Vision impresses Valeo
Even when exposed repeatedly exposed to aggressive media like sun cream, cleaning agents and solvents, the material does not sustain any damage, and hence it is ideally suited for backlit switches or buttons. Thus, it offers immense benefits compared to amorphous, transparent materials and this highly impressed the French interior specialist Valeo.
Valeo worked with BASF to develop the material to production maturity and it will now be used by a large automobile manufacturer.
“Due to its excellent properties, Ultramid Vision was a focus for us from the outset,” said Sebastian Laukat, project manager at Valeo, expressing his satisfaction with the semi-transparent, semi-crystalline polyamide from BASF. “The balanced characteristics profile in terms of mechanics and processability in conjunction with the high scratch resistance and UV stability were ultimately the decisive factors.”
Versatility in colour and design
In addition to the uncolored base-grade Ultramid Vision B3K UN, it is also possible to make specially equipped products with diffuse light transmission at high transmission rate and products colored according to customer requests. The Ultramid Vision range thus offers designers and developers a broad range of possibilities for realizing design features and lighting elements in car interiors and various consumer and industrial applications.
Manju Mathew, an MBA in marketing, completed publisher training courses from the Oxford Brookes University and New York University. She started with marketing and PR roles before moving on to her current position as a full time writer. Currently living in Dubai, her life as an expat has sharpened her observation skills and flair for writing. She enjoys writing about luxury cars like Ferrari, Lamborghini, etc even if she can only dream of owning them.
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