Case studies/Press releases
07 Mar 17
Huntsman TPU Protects Projects and Auto Parts in Transit

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
7 March 2017


HUNTSMAN TPU PROTECTS AUTO PARTS IN TRANSIT

 

Osnabrück, GERMANY – Two thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) grades from Huntsman are helping to transform the transportation of automotive parts, ensuring that expensive vehicle components arrive at their destination damage free and clean – and saving original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and car makers significant amounts of time and money.

PolyFlex Products (PFP), a US-based manufacturer of specialist dunnage, is using two of Huntsman’s abrasion resistant IROGRAN® and AVALON® TPU grades to boost the performance and longevity of its custom trays, containers, nests and racks. Switching to TPU has helped PFP ensure the longevity of its dunnage – typically around five years. It has also reduced incidents of dunnage damage caused by atypical usage.

Dunnage is used to stabilize products in transit. In its most basic form it bulks out shipping containers and stops boxes and crates moving around. PFP operates at the more technical end of the dunnage spectrum, producing complex packaging systems, tailor made to fit specific products. For the automotive industry, this includes bespoke solutions that fit securely around engines, gear transmissions, axles, windshields and body panels – protecting them against damage and breakages, which are inherent with truck, rail and sea shipments.

PFP has produced custom dunnage for automotive OEMs for many years. The business creates plastic and rubber parts, which work in conjunction with metal racks that are stacked inside road, rail and sea containers. Historically, PFP used polypropylene to create i ts automotive dunnage but the material in question lacked the lasting wear properties required. Over time, as sharp heavy components were unpacked repeatedly, the dunnage became prone to splitting and tearing.

Searching for a better solution, PFP started using TPU. Assisted by Major Polymers, a distributor of Huntsman TPU, the business picked two abrasion resistant TPU grades from Huntsman, each with a different shore hardness: 90A for heavy components; and 60D for parts that have to be released by sliding. Using the new materials, PFP quickly discovered how durable they were. They also learned that:


• TPU can be used to create complex dunnage, in all kinds of shapes and sizes
• The excellent vibration dampening qualities of TPU creates a smoother ride surface
• Using TPU can reduce dunnage weight leading to lower transport costs
• TPU materials can have electro-static discharge properties, which are ideal for moving electronic components
• TPU dunnage is fully recyclable.
 


Furthermore, TPU offers low temperature resistance, maintaining the same physical properties even at sub-zero temperatures. This is important in northern U.S., States, such as Michigan, which are renowned for car manufacture and for long, cold winters. Even in freezing conditions, TPU can retain its flexibility – helping to preserve ride quality.

Working with Major Polymers and Huntsman, PFP has been able to expand the use of TPU across a much broader range of dunnage applications. Recently, the business has begun trialing a third type of TPU for the transportation of automotive components. Ken Bylo, Vice President at PolyFlex Products, said: “The use of TPU in automotive dunnage has been growing steadily over the last decade. We were one of the f irst adopters of this material for this purpose – and with help from Major Polymers we are extending its role. It’s taken a while for the wider automotive industry to wake up to the benefits of TPU – but there is now a real shift in the sector.”

“OEMs are now proactively asking for TPU-based solutions. Initially, there were some concerns about the extra up-front investment required; TPU is typically more expensive – but there is a clear return on investment in terms of longevity as well as numerous other benefits. Whether transporting small components or 800lb parts, TPU is becoming the ‘go to’ dunnage material for our automotive customers. We love it because of its durability and our customers trust it to keep their components pristine en route to assembly plants.”

Ken Scarpace, President at Major Polymers, said: “PFP’s switch to TPU was straightforward thanks to the technical support we provided in tandem with Huntsman. The key challenge was helping PFP produce larger dunnage parts using a material that responds differently to other kinds of plastic and rubber. With input from the TPU team at Huntsman we were able to offer advice that ensured a smooth transition. We are delighted that PFP and its customers have been so impressed with the results and that the team are now looking at the use of additional grades in different dunnage applications.”

Eric M. Holdt, Americas Distribution Sales Manager at Huntsman, said: “Our polyurethane products and systems are used throughout the automotive industry in the production of car parts – from seating foam and acoustic insulation to under bonnet cables and soft touch interior components. It’s fitting therefore that our IROGRAN® and AVALON® grades are now also adding value further down the car production supply chain.”

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IROGRAN® and AVALON® are registered trademarks of Huntsman Corporation or an affiliate thereof in one or more, but not all countries.

© Copyright 2018. Huntsman Corporation or an affiliate thereof. All rights reserved.

About Major Polymers:
Major Polymers Distribution Inc. is a Midwest supplier of thermoplastic materials located in St Clair, Michigan, specializing in engineering grade polymers and compounds. For more information go to:
http://majorpolymers.net/ or call 586-914-6320.

About PolyFlex Products:
PolyFlex Products – located in Farmington Hills, Michigan – engineers and manufactures custom reusable trays, returnable containers and other packaging products for material handling and automated manufacturing process applications. The company’s vision is built upon utilizing new technology to develop custom solutions out of plastic, urethane or rubber molding processes. For more information go to: http://www.polyflexpro.com/.

About Huntsman:
Huntsman Corporation is a publicly traded global manufacturer and marketer of differentiated and specialty chemicals with 2017 revenues of approximately $8 billion.  Our chemical products number in the thousands and are sold worldwide to manufacturers serving a broad and diverse range of consumer and industrial end markets. We operate more than 75 manufacturing, R&D and operations facilities in approximately 30 countries and employ approximately 10,000 associates within our four distinct business divisions. For more information about Huntsman, please visit the company's website at www.huntsman.com.

Social Media:
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LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/huntsman

Forward-Looking Statements:
Statements in this release that are not historical are forward-looking statements. These statements are based on management's current beliefs and expectations. The forward-looking statements in this release are subject to uncertainty and changes in circumstances and involve risks and uncertainties that may affect the company's operations, markets, products, services, prices and other factors as discussed in the Huntsman companies' filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Significant risks and uncertainties may relate to, but are not limited to, volatile global economic conditions, cyclical and volatile product markets, disruptions in production at manufacturing facilities, reorganization or restructuring of Huntsman’s operations, the ability to implement cost reductions and manufacturing optimization improvements in Huntsman businesses, and other financial, economic, competitive, environmental, political, legal, regulatory and technological factors. The company assumes no obligation to provide revisions to any forward-looking statements should circumstances change, except as otherwise required by applicable laws.

CONTACT
Simone Richter
Tel: + 49 (0) 541 91 41 207
Email: simone_richter@huntsman.com