New grades of Makrofol® hard-coated films offer superior performance characteristics and manufacturing flexibility

Because of its outstanding performance characteristics, polycarbonate resin is widely used to manufacture parts used in a myriad of industries. Parts made of polycarbonate resins and protected with hard, scratch-resistant polyurethane coatings offer superior impact strength, superior dimensional stability, glass-like transparency, excellent thermal resistance and low-temperature toughness in a broad range of high-performance applications in the transportation, construction, electronics, telecommunication, packaging and medical industries, to name a few. Now Bayer MaterialScience LLC is bringing to manufacturers two solutions that offer even greater scratch resistance for polycarbonate parts — its 2-D, nonformable Makrofol® HS 520 hard-coated film and its 3-D formable Makrofol® HF 278 hard-coated film.

2-D hard coat with excellent chemical resistance and outstanding hardness
Makrofol HS 520 hard-coated, glossy film exhibits excellent wet and dry scratch resistance. This coated film achieves an outstanding ASTM D3363 pencil hardness rating, which is an established global test standard for evaluating the surface hardness and abrasion resistance of materials. Makrofol HS 520 film is much more resistant to everyday scratching than its predecessors and also maintains its gloss and transparency longer.

Makrofol HS 520 film also offers excellent resistance to harsh chemicals such as MEK and toluene and to typical "everyday chemicals" such as sun creams, cosmetics, oils, grease, fuel and cleaning agents. It also provides better clarity with less haze and exhibits no rainbow effect or iridescence. Makrofol HS 520 film is ideal for flat panels, graphic overlays and backlit displays in electronic devices and appliances.

3-D, innovative dual-cure technology solves complex cracking issue
In addition to providing excellent scratch resistance, better surface hardness, improved abrasion resistance and higher chemical and stain resistance, new Makrofol HF 278 hard-coated films offer parts makers manufacturing flexibility, because they are formable and offer a deep-gloss finish ("piano effect").

Makrofol HF 278 formable, hard-coated films are dual-cure technologies with a long shelf life. The hard coat is partially cured on the film and remains stretchable during the forming operation. After the forming operation the film undergoes an ultraviolet (UV) cure, which produces a final hard coat free of brittleness and cracking, and sufficient for use in subsequent insert molding operations. A very good ASTM rating of at least 1H pencil hardness is achievable on back-molded parts with this film.

"The dual-cure approach is very attractive to manufacturers of complex parts such as automotive bezels, center stack consoles, electronic housings and household appliances which are formed under high pressures," said Chris Cooper, Functional Films business development manager, Bayer MaterialScience LLC. "This new film enables the manufacturer to apply an extremely hard, scratch- and chemical-resistant gloss coating without the concern of post-forming cracking of the hardcoat. This is a great advantage to the manufacturer."

In addition to the Makrofol HS and HF coated films, Bayer MaterialScience Functional Films offers other technologically advanced grades — LM (Light Management), ID (ID Cards and Security), HX (Holographics), and SR (Scratch Resistant) capped products.

Bayer MaterialScience LLC is one of the leading producers of polymers and high-performance plastics in North America and is part of the global Bayer MaterialScience business with approximately 14,700 employees at 30 production sites around the world and 2010 sales of 10.2 billion euros. The company manufactures high-tech polymer materials and develops innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, electrical and electronics, construction, medical, and sports and leisure industries. Sustainability is central to Bayer MaterialScience LLC's business and is based around the key areas of innovation, product stewardship, excellence in corporate management, social responsibility and respect for the environment.

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