Asahi Kasei Plastics Announces Soform™ For Automotive Interiors

       Asahi Kasei Plastics Announces Soform™ For Automotive Interiors

PR Newswire

FOWLERVILLE, Mich., Oct. 11, 2013

FOWLERVILLE, Mich., Oct. 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --Fowlerville, Mich. Asahi
Kasei Plastics introduces Soform a specialty patent pending soft-touch
polypropylene for automotive interior applications. This new material improves
automotive interiors by delivering a 'soft-to-the-touch' surface while
retaining its integrity as a structural lightweight plastic. "Soform enriches
the tactile experience and enhances comfort, providing extra value to the
automotive consumer, without compromising design or functionality," said
Ramesh Iyer, vice president of commercial operations, Asahi Kasei Plastics.

Enhanced Buyer Perception
Haptics – the science of touch – plays an important role in how consumers
perceive a product. A growing amount of research is showing that soft surfaces
touched when in the process of making a decision impacts the outcome of the
consumer's decision. The sense of touch also evokes an emotional response that
instills a greater sense of ownership, causing the consumer to place a higher
monetary value on the object[i]. Haptics have been shown to ultimately
influence the buying decision even if how a product feels and performance are

Soform's development, is based on haptics, as every object people touch is
capable of providing tactile feedback. Automotive components designed to be
touched offer automotive manufacturers new opportunities for positive consumer
interaction, and open up new ways to deliver a positive consumer experience.

"Plastics are not ordinarily thought of as soft, especially plastics used for
structural components in automotive applications," said Iyer. "The result of
our research on haptics and its prominent role in interior surfaces was
Soform, a material that delivers both the softness that consumers desire while
maintaining structural rigidity and appealing aesthetics."

Soform Offers Versatility and Streamlined Processing
Soform is ideal for automotive trim parts and components including interior
door panels and other surfaces where a good tactile experience is desired. It
is available in a wide range of physical properties (flexural modulus,
hardness, tensile elongation, gloss) and moldable in any color and texture.
Soform can be directly single-shot injection molded, replacing the need for
two-shot molding or over molding. Good scratch, chemical resistance and the
soft feel, is achieved right out of the mold without secondary processing or

Environmentally Sound
With fewer material types present, automotive parts made with Soform have
better recyclability and higher end of life value. By combining many
desirable characteristics into one lightweight plastic, Soform provides
benefits along its entire life cycle – reducing the number of materials in the
supply chain and processing steps benefiting both the energy footprint and

About Asahi Kasei Plastics
Asahi Kasei Plastics is a leading international custom compounder of advanced
engineered polymers and the largest short glass reinforced polypropylene
manufacturer in North America. With a diverse and fully customizable product
portfolio, and manufacturing facilities located across the globe, Asahi Kasei
Plastics is providing unique engineering solutions for the global market.

Continually committed to minimizing their impact on the planet and delivering
product uniformity at each manufacturing location, Asahi Kasei Plastics
upholds strict Corporate Social Responsibility, product specification
standards, and regulatory compliance to provide high quality materials while
maintaining a minimal carbon footprint. Their product lines include
THERMYLENE® (polypropylene), LEONA™ (nylon 66, 66+6i), THERMYLON® (nylon 6,
66), TENAC™ (acetal) and XYRON™ (modified polyphenylene ether – mPPE), STYLAC™
(acrylonitrile butadiene styrene – ABS).

Asahi Kasei Plastics North America, Inc., 900 E. Van Riper Rd., Fowlerville,
MI 48836 USA 517.223.5221

Thermylene®, Thermylon® are registered trademarks of Asahi Kasei Plastics
North America, Inc.

Leona™, Tenac™, Xyron™, Stylac™ are trademarks of Asahi Kasei Chemicals

[i] Gregory, Sean. "Want to Save Some Money? Shop Without Touching." –,8599,1889081,00.html

[ii] Peck, J. and J. Wiggins. "It Just Feels Good: Customers' Affective
Response to Touch and Its Influence on Persuasion." Journal of Marketing 70
(2006): 56-69.

Asahi Kasei Plastics             Intuit Group
Contacts:                        Media Contact:
Ramesh Iyer                       Teri Chouinard CBC, APR
248.895.0135                   810.797.7242
                                  (Photos via
Joel Wiese

SOURCE Asahi Kasei Plastics

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