Combining efficiency and style in automotive lighting, SABIC Innovative Plastics' Valox* V2000DM PBT resin was selected by Ford Motor Company and Automotive Components Holding, LLC to design the direct metallized rear bezel for the 2009 North American Truck of the Year award-winning Ford F-150. The direct metallization leads to stylish, metallic-looking rear lamp bezel and involves vacuum deposition of a thin aluminum layer onto an injection-molded part. Challenges inherent in direct metallization include achieving exceptional surface finish for the as-molded part since the ultra-thin aluminum layer cannot disguise underlying surface defects. According to the company, Valox V2000DM resin is engineered with a unique formulation so that molded parts can closely replicate a highly polished tool while maintaining a wide processing window and enhanced de-molding. As a result, the molded parts provide high gloss and near-flawless smoothness prior to metallization.
In addition, the same technology also enables the Valox resin to help minimize tool deposit, or mold plate-out, common to polyester materials thereby avoiding processing delays. As an environmental benefit, the direct metallization process makes it possible to recycle scrap, short shots and other waste plastic from the molding process. As Valox V2000DM resin provides such a high-quality surface finish, it does not require painting or coating to improve aesthetics prior to metallization. The 2009 Ford F-150 improved its fuel economy by an average of 8% across the entire lineup with weight reduction being one of the significant factors.