First PMMA molding compound for automotive glazing

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  • Freedom of design, low weight and option of integrating a variety of functions
  • 30 times the breaking strength of mineral glass
  • Specialty molding compound for injection molding and extrusion

PMMA (polymethyl methacrylate) has long been established in a variety of vehicle applications, where it is used, for example, as taillight covers and non-transparent add-on body parts. In addition, the material is increasingly used for interior applications such as decorative trim, ambient lighting and door entry strips. Glazing, however, is one of the fields that offer the highest growth potential.

30 times the breaking strength of mineral glass

Weight savings, freedom of design and the integration of many different functions: these are the major benefits of plastic glazing as compared with conventional glass. Plexiglas Resist AG 100 of Evonik is the world’s first PMMA specialty molding compound for this application. It offers high resistance to UV light and weathering, is impact-modified and has up to 30 times the breaking strength of mineral glass.

Reversible haze significantly reduced

Reversible haze which commonly occurs in conventional impact-modified products at very high and low temperatures could be significantly reduced, according to the company. The new specialty molding compound meets all the relevant requirements for the field of automotive glazing and has also undergone and passed all tests in line with ECE R43. The test report of the Materials Testing Agency of North RhineWestphalia is available for systems based on Plexiglas Resist AG 100 for rear side windows, roof and rear windows.

concept car with PMMA glazing

One example for Plexiglas glazing with unusual design and curved lines is Pininfarina’s concept car Cambiano (source: Evonik)

Specialty molding compound for injection molding and extrusion

The new specialty molding compound can be processed by means of all thermoplastic processes such as injection molding or injection compression molding of parts, or by extrusion with subsequent sheet thermoforming.

One-step coating increases good abrasion resistance further

The PMMA material provides already an inherent resistance to UV light and weathering. Thus the one-step coating is applied to increase the already good abrasion resistance of Plexiglas still further. One-step coatings that are suitable for Plexiglas have been successfully tested and also meet the requirements of ECE R 43. Other thermoplastics that are less weather-resistant have to be protected by means of a two-step coating process, which entails higher costs. The subsequently applied UV-protection also impairs the mechanical performance of the coating.

Freedom of design and option of integrating a variety of functions

The PMMA material offers almost unlimited freedom to designers when it comes to developing unusual designs with curved lines and pronounced edges. This also applies to components made from this material, which unite several functions at the same time, such as non-movable quarter window, black pillar cover and taillight all in one. Another convincing feature for the automobile industry is the good life cycle assessment of Plexiglas, which was determined and confirmed over the product’s entire life cycle in accordance with DIN ISO 14040ff. And at the end of a car’s service life, Plexiglas can be completely recycled and used again for other transparent applications.

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