Industry first mold in color high gloss high touch black resin for automotive interiors
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Robert D. Bedard Product Development Engineer Ford Motor Company May 21, 2014 - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Industry-First, Mold-In-Color , High-Gloss, High-Touch Black Resin for Automotive Interiors. Panel 4: Innovative Materials. Robert D. Bedard Product Development Engineer Ford Motor Company May 21, 2014. Today’s Agenda. Industry Trend. Fusion/Mondeo. A8/A4. 1 Series/F20.

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Industry first mold in color high gloss high touch black resin for automotive interiors

Industry-First, Mold-In-Color, High-Gloss, High-Touch Black Resin for Automotive Interiors

Panel 4: Innovative Materials

Robert D. Bedard

Product Development Engineer

Ford Motor Company

May 21, 2014

Industry Trend



1 Series/F20

Hyundai Sonata



High-Gloss Black interior finishes are popular in today’s vehicle themes

Project Vision –utilize Mold-In-Color (Paint-free)Technology to achieve jewelry-like, high-gloss, solid-color automotive interior trim panels

This vision is aligned with ford s primary brand pillars
This vision is aligned with Ford’s Primary Brand Pillars

Smart: Pleasing to the eye, and accentuates the interior theme & style. High-series appearance at affordable cost.

Quality: Tough enough to withstand the rigors of repetitive contact, use, and the external elements

Green: Manufactured without high-gloss paint, which is typically employed to make interior parts shine and to provide surface protection

Technology comparison conventional vs next generation
TECHNOLOGY COMPARISON –conventionalvs.Next-generation

Conventional Technology

  • The conventional injection molding process leaves surface defects on the visible surface of the component, such as weld-lines and flow-marks

  • Paint must be used to:

    • cover these surface defects

    • Achievejet-black color,high-gloss, and deep, depth-of-image



Conventional Value Chain for High-Gloss Paint

Injection Molding


Resin Compounding

Warehousing at Paint Supplier


Clean-Room Paint Facility



Long supplier chain, inefficient logistics, and scrap rate at paint shop all contribute to low, overall yield

Innovations tooling design material science
Innovations –Tooling designMaterial Science

Technology Breakthrough: Theory

  • A thermoplastic, in the liquid state, is injected into a mold. The thermoplastic then changes from a liquid state to a solid state, due to heat transfer into the mold’s walls.

  • When a liquid thermoplastic is divided within the mold, the temperature at the front of the flow-front is higher than at the back of the flow-front. When two “cold” flow-fronts meet, a weld-line is produced.

  • Solution: Control heat transfer by raising mold temperature as needed to reduce heat loss


Knit Line visible to naked eye

Knit Line invisible to naked eye


*Advanced course on Applied Energy Engineering,

Tokyo Tech OCW

Tooling Design Innovation

  • Electrically controlled heating elements are placed within the mold cavity to elevate the mold’s surface temperature above that which is used in conventional injection molding

  • The cavity shell “floats” to enable efficient “heat-up” and “cool-down” phases of the molding cycle.

  • The cavity shell is made of a special grade of stainless steel that provides bothhigh thermal conductivity and high flexibility







Tooling Design Innovation

  • The heating elements within the cavity reduce flow-front heat loss, allowing the thermoplastic to flow and knit homogeneously within the injection mold. The elements are organized into zones, which govern heat delivery to respective regions within the cavity. A controller unit is used to tailor the amount of heat delivered to each zone, based on the amount of heat required to achieve exceptional surface finish for complicated component geometry.

Tooling Design Innovation

Conventional Cooling Method

New Cooling Method




  • Water flows through a “circuit” to stabilize the temperature of the mold’s core


  • Heat is rapidly extracted from the mold’s core through contact with a specially designed “cooling plate”

Material Science Innovation

  • Ford Motor Company and BASF Corporation partnered to develop an all-new polyamide resin used to manufacture the Fusion’s four door trim panel switch bezels; this was the automotive industry’s first application of paint-free, jewelry-like, jet-black trim panels located within interior high-touch zones

  • This paint-free material science innovation was achieved via the following enablers: the use of exotic additives, optimization of the polymer formulation, and the use of specialized colorant packages

  • Approximately 75 different iterations of additives, polymers, and colorants were extensively tested to hone in on the final formulation, in order to deliverdepth-of-color and to meet durability requirements



Technology enables a Paradigm Shift across the entire Value Chain

Long Supplier Chain

Creation of VOCs & CO2

High Scrap Rate

High Hidden Factory costs

Shortened Supplier Chain

Mitigation of VOCs & CO2

Low Scrap Rate

Reduced Hidden Factory costs

Smart Chain

Ford Fusion Door Switch BezelsHigh-Touch, High-Gloss Black Mold-In-Color



Conventional Molding +

Pigmented Base Coat & Clear Top Coat

Smart Chain

“The Tip of the Iceberg”More opportunities exist

across entire vehicles

Approximately 40% savings

per Fusion, Mondeo door bezel

Several million dollars of incremental revenue generated per Fusion, Mondeo



Forecasted Global Annual Volume: approximately 6 million units



Millions of dollars of revenue generated annually, per additional Ford components

Quality Chain

  • Mitigated paint-introduced quality defects like loss of adhesion, orange peel, dirt-in-paint, dry spray, etc.

  • Strengthened product appeal in marketplace. For example, J.D. Power & Associates APEALStudy stated:

Green Chain

  • Mitigated Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and Carbon Dioxide (CO2) created by paint process

  • Reduced CO2 emissions due to stream-lined Value Chain. An estimated 60,000 pounds of CO2 are mitigated annually from Ford Fusion production.

  • Eliminated paint waste from entering landfills

  • Improved health & safety via mitigation of exposure to harmful paint chemicals

High-Gloss Mold-In-Color Chain

Applications in Development

Recognitions Chain

  • 2014 Automotive News PACE™ Innovation Partnership Award

  • 2014 Automotive News PACE™ Innovation Award for Material Development

Materials Category Finalist with BASF Corporation, 2012


US Patent Office, 2013 & 2014

On-line Publication, 2013

On-line Publication, 2013

Our Team BASF Corporation, 2012

Ford Motor Company: Engineering, Design, Development, & Testing

H. M. Sun, M. Masserant, C. Boese, R. Bedard, D. Woods, C. Nielsen

BASF Corporation & Americhem, Incorporated : Resin & Colorant Development

J. Leptich, H. Cowell, S. Tupper, S. Windahl, S. Hanley, T. Patel, B. Myers

Michael Tool & Mold, Synventive Molding Solutions, CUMSA: Tooling

M. Graf, J. Sulaiman, A. Hui, R. Cilia, R. Long, S. Navarra, J. de Fortuny

NADA Innovation: E-Mold Technology

M. Kang, D. Lee, K. Shin

Summit Polymers, Incorporated: Manufacturing

P. Bassett, K. Klimach, S. Crandall, K. Bulifant, M. Lazor, T. Loc

Questions answers
QUESTIONS BASF Corporation, 2012&answers

Thank you
Thank you! BASF Corporation, 2012

BACK-UP BASF Corporation, 2012 SLIDES

Technology Evolution BASF Corporation, 2012

Automotive Interiors

Large Screen TVs

2012 Ford Escape –

High Gloss

Home Appliances

2013 Ford Escape –

Low Gloss

Technology migrated from consumer electronics to automotive. Ford leads in the automotive industry.