Automotive-Interior PSC (Powder Slush Compound) Market in Japan: Key Research Findings 2019
Yano Research Institute (the President, Takashi Mizukoshi) has conducted a survey on the market of good-tactile surface materials for automotive interior and has found out the trends of powder slush compound market, the trends of market players, and the future outlook.
The automotive-interior PSC (powder slush compound) market size based on the shipment volume at manufacturers has achieved 45,000 tons in 2018. There are two kinds of PSC, i.e., PVC (polyvinyl chloride) resin and TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane, i.e., thermoplastic elastomers). In 2018 PVC occupied 82.2% (37,000 tons) and TPU 17.8% (8,000 tons).
Powder slush compound is PVC compound or thermoplastic elastomer powdered into about a hundred and some tens of μm. While PVC resin is hard material so that it needed to formulate plasticizing agent to add flexibility, TPU is made by a mix of rigid segment with high cohesive power and soft rubbery segment in order for appropriate durability, tear strength, and impact resilience. Both kinds are required to be highly fluid because they need to evenly and thoroughly spread within molds.
At first, PVC powder has been used for automotive interior. However, in the period between the end of 1990s and the beginning of 2000s, chlorine-based materials including PVC have come to be avoided by the makers in and out of the country. In addition, many of the automakers have adopted instrument panels with invisible airbag deployment, where only TPU materials can be used for the panel at that time. Therefore, automakers have adopted TPU as the slash molding materials for instrument panels, which rapidly reduced application of PVC resin for PSC.
Later on, however, PVC has been appreciated once again for its availability to suppress toxic substance emission if properly processed and its low dependency in petroleum, which improved the recognition of PVC from environmental point of view. In addition, the competitive price advantage against TPU and development of slush molded PVC for invisible airbag deployment have led PVC to be re-appreciated and be used at each automakers in the overseas markets especially Europe. Japanese automakers, too, have begun adopting instrument panels molded with PVC since 2010.
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