As cars become quieter thanks to technology (particularly electric engines), the other sounds that cars make could potentially become more irritating without a steady, loud engine drone to cover them. Squeaking interiors, apparently, are one of these noises. At the CHINAPLAS 2018 event happening this week in Shanghai, Dow Performance Silicones is introducing a new silicone-based additive, HMB-1903, to minimize squeaking noise in automotive interiors, reported Plastics Today’s Stephen Moore.

The new additive was designed by Dow Performance Silicones, a unit of DowDuPont’s Consumer Solutions business, for use in polycarbonate/acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (PC/ABS). HMB-1903 provides anti-squeak performance without the need for post-treatments such as spray-on silicones that can be expensive and inefficient and lead to design limitations. The first in a new Dow product family, HMB-1903 expands the company’s portfolio of silicone solutions that extend properties, enhance processing and reinforce materials. HMB-1903 can be added directly at the press or incorporated into compounds, according to the company.

Christophe Paulo, Industrial and Consumer Strategic Marketer, EMEA at Dow Performance Silicones’ Transportation and Advanced Polymers Division, told Moore that as cars get quieter, the need for additive such as HMB-1903 becomes more urgent.

“With the auto market shifting increasingly to the use of hybrid-electric and electric vehicles, noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) is becoming more noticeable. Furthermore, in self-driving cars that will be used for entertainment and relaxation in addition to transportation,” NVH becomes more intrusive, Paulo told Plastics Today.

“To minimize squeaking noise, we’ve developed a cost-effective alternative to less flexible solutions such as coatings, external greases, felt or ready-to-use chemically-modified PC/ABS where you would be tied to a specific material,” he said. “Our additive also improves wear resistance.”

At CHINAPLAS 2018, Dow Performance Silicones is also introducing two families of TPSiV silicone-based thermoplastic elastomers designed to provide flexibility and a soft, silky feel without the need for flexibilizer additives. These materials provide adhesion to selected polymer substrates for over-molding applications. DOW CORNING MB50-011 Masterbatch and DOW CORNING HMB-1103 Masterbatch reduce coefficient of friction to improve processing and wear resistance. The third solution, DOW CORNING HMB-0221 Additive, is both an anti-scratch surface agent and a processing aid designed to improve the quality, feel and appearance of automotive interiors, as well as enhance processability.