New Slush Cast TPO Skin Results in Low-Cost Interior Luxury
Delphi's Slush Cast Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO) Skin gives vehicle cabins a luxurious look and feel at a substantially lower cost than traditional sprayed urethane technology.
Slush Cast TPO Skin is the newest addition to Delphi's interior skin portfolio and is the best method for vehicles with complex styling features. Delphi continues to offer an array of interior skin materials and a variety of application methods to suit every type of vehicle style.
"This advancement in skin technology will have a significant impact on the future of automotive interiors," said Lon Offenbacher, business line executive, cockpits and interior systems and integrated closure systems, Delphi Thermal & Interior. "This high value innovation offers our customers, quite simply, superior appearance and performance at less cost than alternatives."
In 1997, Delphi was the first automotive interior supplier to introduce TPO in extruded-sheet form for use in the thermoforming process of instrument panel skins. Now, Delphi has developed a powdered form of TPO that can be used in a slush molding process.
TPO offers benefits beyond those of traditional polyvinyl chloride (PVC). TPO is highly recyclable and can be molded to color, which eliminates the need for painting. Its pliability prevents cracking and splintering in the skin when an airbag deploys in cold weather. Coupled with its ability to produce seamless tear seams, TPO is compatible with Delphi's hidden airbag door technology.
During the slush molding process, TPO is added to a heated mold in a powdered form. As the mold is rotated, the TPO melts and fuses to form the skin. The result is unmatched styling flexibility such as tight radii, undercuts and multiple grains, and easy skin enhancements like stitching, lettering, logos and grain definition. The overall surface feels better, has lower gloss and is more resistant to scratch and mar.
According to James Giardino, director of engineering, Delphi Thermal & Interior, to the company's best knowledge, there is only one other Slush Cast TPO product on the market today and it is significantly higher in cost and requires painting.
"This represents a significant accomplishment for our engineering team. Our research and development of TPO skin has made us a leader in this material and process technology," Giardino said.
Delphi's Slush Cast TPO Skin is scheduled to make its debut on a major 2008 North American sport utility vehicle.
Delphi presented a technical paper on the technology titled "Development of a Slush Molded TPO Instrument Panel Skin" at the Society of Automotive Engineers 2005 World Congress in April.
At Delphi, we help make cars safer, cleaner, more efficient, and fun to drive. For more information about Delphi Corporation, visit Delphi's Virtual Press Room at http://www.delphi.com/media .
All statements contained or incorporated in this press release which address operating performance, events or developments that we expect or anticipate may occur in the future (including statements relating to future sales or earnings expectations, savings expected as a result of our global restructurings or other initiatives, portfolio restructuring plans, volume growth, awarded sales contracts and earnings per share expectations or statements expressing general optimism about future operating results) are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are made on the basis of management's current views and assumptions with respect to future events. Important factors, risks and uncertainties which may cause actual results to differ from those expressed in our forward-looking statements are discussed in detail in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including our annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2003 and our disclosures filed regarding the status of the ongoing internal investigation being conducted by the audit committee of the Company's board of directors and related SEC investigation. Delphi does not intend or assume any obligation to update any of these forward-looking statements.
Web site: http://www.delphi.com/media/