Bayer MaterialScience and Fischer Automotive Systems have launched the jointlydeveloped DirectSkinning technology, a plastic coating process said to return improved cost-effi ciency in the production of injection-moulded parts for vehicle interiors. DirectSkinning combines the injection moulding of thermoplastics with the reaction injection moulding (RIM) process for polyurethane processing. DirectSkinning does not require a separate coating system as it is applied by being directly injected into the substrate mould, ensuring short cycle times and high productivity. Parts produced using the new technology are said to require minimal fi nishing. The new technology is being used to produce decorative panel covers for the BMW 5-Series Gran Turismo. The panel is produced in fi ve colours, including ivory white, light beige and grey. Approximately 1.4mm thick, the covering is said to deliver lasting UV resistance and colour fastness, with a high level of scratch and abrasion resistance. “Our joint project demonstrates that DirectSkinning is ready for series production and can be used to manufacture injection mouldings with high-quality, coloured decorative polyurethane surfaces for vehicle interiors,” explained Dr. Michael Baumeister, Head of Production and Logistics at Fischer Automotive’s plant in Horb, Germany.