By Patrick Raleigh, ERJ On-line news editor
Akron, Ohio-Advanced Elastomer Systems, part of ExxonMobil Chemical, and Trexel Inc. of Woburn, Massachusettts, have entered a license agreement to develop dynamic automotive weatherseal systems. The products will be based on AES' Santoprene thermoplastic vulcanisates and Trexel's patented MuCell microcellular foam process.
MuCell involves the continuous introduction of small, precise amounts of supercritical nitrogen gas into a melt extrusion process. This provides high-speed production of foamed profiles with consistent properties and smooth appearance, claims Trexel.
The agreement part of Akron-based AES's long-held strategy to supply TPV alternatives to traditional EPDM parts, particularly in the automotive sealing applications. For its part, Trexel said it aims to develop a turnkey process for Santoprene weatherseals and provide standard equipment packages for system worldwide.
â€œSantoprene TPVs have been used in the transition from EPDM to TPV weatherseals systems for many years, and we now see an innovation potential for overcoming some of the final barriers to broad adoption in dynamic applications,â€ said Zev Gurion, AES' global automotive marketing manager.
â€œTrexel and AES bring together exceptional capabilities to support customer adoption decisions. We anticipate a standard repeatable system that can be broadly implemented and supported,â€ Gurion added in a 22 June press statement.
Trexel is primarily involved in licensing its MuCell technology for the production of injection moulded and extruded articles. The firm operates a plastics development laboratory in its Woburn facility, backed by support facilities in the US, Europe, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, and Singapore.