Masterbatches worldwide.

GRAFE Automotive Competence

 

The demands of the automotive market for interior trim and exterior applications with increasingly specialized and complex properties present a major challenge to the manufacturers of masterbatches and compounds. Starting from product development all the way up to series production, the industry has been forced to react quickly and flexibly to the specialized demands of the automotive industry on the makers of thermoplastic components in cars. Masterbatch and compound producers can have a significant influence on the end quality of the thermoplastic products manufactured for cars. This is reflected in both surface and color of the components. Masterbatch and compound formulations shape the technical properties of the components manufactured for car interiors. These features include for example UV and thermal stability, scratch resistance, as well as structural and mechanical properties.

 

GRAFE is a family-owned and run enterprise founded in 1991 by four brothers in Jena, Thuringia.  It currently employs a staff of around 300 and produces and develops approximately 10,000 color formulations each year. The automotive industry, which has been a customer since the late 1990’s, has developed into one of the company’s most important business fields. By virtue of its strong commitment and technological expertise, the GRAFE Group with its masterbatches and compounds was quickly able to establish a strong position in this market. Today GRAFE is one of the leading suppliers for the automotive industry. For many years now, renowned national and international car makers and suppliers have been relying on the TS16949 certified quality in production and service, and have been working together with GRAFE to develop thermoplastic vehicle parts in every possible interior color. Colors are fine-tuned using OEM-defined leather, paint and textile samplers. Over the past years, GRAFE has developed over 400 automotive colors in more than 15 types of thermoplastics for over 30 OEMs.

 

Classical applications where the GRAFE Group’s products have become successfully established in many car interiors include all paneling as well as other interior parts manufactured from PP, ABS, ABS-/PC, PA, POM, PBT, PC, TPE, TPU, ASA, SAN, ASA/PA and PMMA. These include pillar and sill panels, door cladding, loudspeaker grills, center and roof consoles, seat trim, dashboard elements, air vents, sun visors, roof handles, airbag covers, window frames and trunk paneling. As part of vehicle exteriors, GRAFE products have become firmly established as side skirts, lighting elements, roof-railing parts, wing mirrors, enclosure elements and underbody paneling. Powertrain applications include paneling, cable guides, electrical elements and housing components.

 

For some injection-molded applications, the use of pre-colored materials is still recommended today. One reason for this can be the use of more basic equipment. Another reason can be the increasing demands placed on materials and components. Factors that call for the use of compounds include difficult to process polymer blends, particular component geometries, transparent and translucent materials as well as parts or materials that are difficult to really color well. Masterbatches, however, do have their limits when it comes to certain applications and this is where the GRAFE Group can provide customized compounds in all interior colors for every type of thermoplastic. Even for relatively small amounts of only 100 kg per color in a series, the GRAFE Group can develop all compounds with the desired properties in any color. GRAFE is not only a manufacturer of customized and application-specific masterbatches, it is just as active in the development and production of compounds.

 

This year at the FAKUMA, some of the development highlights GRAFE will be presenting include more effective color additive combination masterbatches for ABS plastics, better scratch resistance for certain applications, as well as additive masterbatches that improve the processing and properties of various polyamide materials including glass-filled polyamides.

 

 

Visit the GRAFE-Stand at the FAKUMA: Hall B5, Stand 5306.

 

 

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