Weld line elimination and excellent surface appearance are key properties achievable with a new grade of glass fiber-reinforced thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) based on metallocene catalyst and process technology developed by Japan Polypropylene (JPP, Tokyo). The primary target application of Welnex/GF is automotive interior components.
As opposed to conventional talc-filled polypropylene (PP) grades employed in interior applications, weld lines are almost invisible with the new grade, which crystallizes relatively slowly like a random copolymer grade, resulting in better integration of the two flow fronts. According to a JPP spokesperson, while the cycle time might consequently be roughly 10% slower, advantages such as no need for coating and a softer feel despite the 10–30% glass fiber reinforcement content have already convinced some end user to adopt the material.
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