Thanks to much simpler production processes than metal materials, the industry has increased the percentage of plastics in cars. Currently, about 15% of the total weight of a sedan is made up of polymers. A value destined to increase the discovery of new composite materials that improve performance and consumption.
Our advanced polyurethane systems are also found in numerous onboard applications, including lightweight but durable fenders and bumpers.
The coating raw materials developed by Covestro allow you to cover the plastic components and car bodies in one step. Some Covestro polyurethane products cure effectively at just 60 ° instead of 200 °. This reduces the energy intake by about 15% and shortens the hardening process by 30%.
Glasses: windshield, windows, rear window
Legislation recently allowed manufacturers to manufacture clear polycarbonate automotive glass instead of glass. A technique widely used in competition cars that have now passed to the consumer world. The weight of the glass surfaces is halved without compromising the strength of the structure.
Thanks to polycarbonate, in the future we can even imagine a monolithic and transparent dome instead of the usual structure of windows, pillars, and roof. The result? A panoramic view without blind spots with greater safety and completely new driving experience.
The combination of polyurethane and carbon fibres creates a resistant composite material, ideal for the manufacture of complete structural components. These are all solutions that have already improved performance in racing cars for many years and which could now be applied extensively in the automotive industry. The aim is to get to lighter vehicles that reduce emissions in conventional carburetion or increase the performance of electric cars.
Lights and headlights
Lights have two fundamental purposes in the automotive sector: brand recognition and functionality.
The shape of the lighting fixtures gives a vehicle a distinctive and unmistakable appearance. Polycarbonate gives designers a high degree of design freedom. It offers car manufacturers the advantage of being cheap and simple to manufacture.
On a functional level, the polycarbonate lights are characterized by:
- resistance: polycarbonate is extremely impact resistant. This is an important property for projectors exposed to strong gravel impacts;
illuminating capacity: the polycarbonate lenses focus and guide the light of the LEDs and create an optimal field of view;
- lightness: the material weighs only half of the glass;
- economy: it refracts light more intensely, which means that the lenses can have a thinner design that saves material;
- precision: the injection molding process allows a level of accuracy and a high yield compared to conventional glass lenses