Asahi Kasei Introduces The LEONA SG Series
To The European Market
Düsseldorf, 28 January 2021 – Premium-looking automotive interior surfaces are growing in importance for the customers. To address this growing demand, Asahi Kasei is introducing the semi-aromatic polyamide LEONA™ SG series to the European market. In addition to high stiffness, it features an improved flowability and a superior surface appearance without any additional surface treatment or coating.
A current survey from December 2020 conducted by Asahi Kasei Europe and Cologne-based market research company SKOPOS interviewing a total of 2,000 car users in Germany, USA, China and Japan on their preferences towards future automotive interior showed, that the automotive interior is on its way to become a major element influencing buying decisions of car users. Within the interior, surface materials are becoming a main differentiator. They significantly determine how he/she perceives the interior of the vehicle – and even more important: the driving experience. This is also reflected in the results of the survey: For 40% of all respondents in Germany, high-quality premium surfaces are important – even more so for users in China (68.7%) and the USA (50.2%).
Superior surface quality even with high glass fiber content
To address these changing needs, Asahi Kasei is introducing the LEONA™ SG series, a new semiaromatic polyamide to the European market. It is available in grades reinforced with 40%, 50% and 60% glass fiber. Even with a high glass fiber content, it features a superior surface quality and gloss at shorter cycle times. This can be achieved without additional surface treatment or additional coating. Furthermore, the material offers an excellent inherent mechanical strength even under moisture. In a conditioned state the 50% glass fiber filled SG105 shows a clear superiority compared to standard and other semi-aromatic polyamides: While standard PA 66 shows a deterioration of 30% in tensile modulus compared to its dry state, SG105 maintains its performance. In addition, SG105 shows an 8% better flexural strength than comparable semi-aromatic polyamides (25% better compared to standard PA 66).
For visible automotive interior parts there is no more need of compromising on neither surface appearance nor mechanical properties. Application fields inside the automotive include venting blades, armrests, covers or door handles.
Cost-optimization and freedom of design
“Asahi Kasei’s plastics can offer more to the automotive industry than just lightweight applications. LEONA™ SG is the next addition to our diversified material portfolio for automotive interior applications. It offers significant cost advantages for our customers and at the same time addresses the changing needs of the car users with its premium surface quality”, explains Taku Ishida, General Manager of the Engineering Plastics Division of Asahi Kasei Europe.
Compared to similar materials, the LEONA™ SG series contributes to a cost- and energy-saving production process. In addition, the high flowability enables thin walled constructions and opens up new freedom in design in addition to possibilities in material savings. The material also demonstrates these advantages in other areas, for example as a replacement for metal die casting (aluminum, ZAMAK, etc.) in construction, industrial or furniture parts. The LEONA™ SG series is part of Asahi Kasei’s new LEONA™ polyamide resin family. This series also comprises UV resistant grades (SU series) for external applications and non-halogenated flameretardant grades (SN series) with UL94 V0 classification for E&E applications. They all have in common the unparalleled combination of excellent surface quality, easy processability and high mechanical performance.
About the Asahi Kasei Corporation
Asahi Kasei Corporation is a globally active diversified technology company with operations in the Material, Homes, and Health Care business. The Material division encompasses fibers & textiles, petrochemicals, performance polymers, performance materials, consumables, battery separators, and electronic devices. The Homes division provides housing and construction materials to the Japanese market. The Health Care division includes pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and acute critical care devices and systems. With more than 40,000 employees around the world, the Asahi Kasei Group serves customers in more than 100 countries and achieved sales of 17.6 billion euros (2,151.6 billion yen) in the fiscal year 2019 (April 1, 2019 – March 31, 2020). Asahi Kasei is Japan’s largest polyamide supplier and is one of only four fully integrated polyamide manufacturers worldwide – able to produce PA 6.6 completely from monomer to compound.
Asahi Kasei is “Creating for Tomorrow” with all operations sharing a common mission of contributing
to life and living for people around the world.
Find more information on Asahi Kasei’s engineering plastics here.