Lower density and improved scratch resistance are two of the key benefits possible when a plastics processor replaces talc fillers with a new reinforcing agent supplied by Milliken. The material actually was introduced last year but since then has started to gain traction, especially in use for automotive interior parts.
Silvia Bubenikova, development engineer at Milliken's European headquarters of Gent, Belgium, told PlasticsToday that the filler, called Hyperform HPR-803, is a synthetic mineral fiber. Milliken is known in the plastics industry for its clarifiers and nucleating agents but the company's history and the bulk of its business =is in the textiles industry. The fibers are less dense than talc, she said, and also improve a part's scratch resistance. When talc is replaced one-for-one by weight with these fibers, the mechanical properties of a part remain or are improved, she said, but at a lower part weight. Bubenikova spoke with PlasticsToday at last week's Plastics in automotive engineering event in Mannheim, Germany....