Nouryon introduces Expancel® HP92 microspheres, a new innovation that is breaking boundaries for thermoplastic microsphere fillers in high-pressure manufacturing processes for the automotive industry. Lightweight materials are in high demand from automotive manufacturers to meet increasingly strict emission regulations and strong consumer interest in fuel-efficient vehicles that do not compromise on performance or passenger comfort.
“The ability to produce lightweight solutions for our key markets presents tremendous growth opportunities for Nouryon as our customers increasingly focus on implementing more sustainable solutions,” said Johan Landfors, Executive Vice President and President of Technology Solutions and Europe at Nouryon. “Our customers in the transportation industry are looking for innovations that address several technical requirements in one product and we are proud to support them with a solution that not only improves fuel efficiency, enhances acoustics and seals for harsh weather conditions but also supports the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions.”
Expancel® microspheres consist of a polymer shell that encapsulates a gas. When heated, the gas expands allowing the microspheres to be used as a lightweight filler and blowing agent to make end products lighter and obtain different surface effects. They also reduce costs and environmental impacts by requiring less raw material and reducing weight.
“When used in underbody coatings and sealants, Expancel® HP92 microspheres allow our customers in the automotive industry to use high-pressure application processes on surfaces with up to four times better volume recovery to its original shape after pressurization compared to an older grade of thermoplastic microsphere,” said Sylvia Winkel Pettersson, Vice President Engineered Polymers at Nouryon. “Our technology is aimed at combining and optimizing the pressure resistance associated with glass microsphere grades with the light weight of thermoplastic microspheres fillers in one refined solution.”
Expancel® HP92 microspheres are currently produced in Stockvik, Sweden, with production expected in Green Bay, Wisconsin, US in early 2023, and will be available globally through the Nouryon distribution network.
Expancel® microspheres have been produced for more than 40 years and are sold in more than 80 countries. Expancel® HP92 microspheres were launched today at the Automotive Lightweight Materials Europe 2022 in Stuttgart, Germany.