- Polycarbonate rear window is 3.4 kg lighter
- Plasma coating prevents scratches & increases UV resistance
- Improved thermal insulation of the passenger cabin
Ford Motor Company has revealed a drivable multi-material lightweight vehicle (MMLV) with polycarbonate (PC) glazing from SABIC’s Innovative Plastics that features 35 percent weight reduction compared to the same window on a 2013 model year Ford Fusion production vehicle. The weight savings total 3.4 kg (7.4 pounds), even though the window is over one millimeter thicker than the production glass window it replaces.
Plasma coating for scratch and UV resistance
The polycarbonate used in the concept’s rear window combines Lexan resin, a PC material characterized by its high optical clarity and impact resistance, with Exatec E900 plasma coating for glass-like scratch and UV resistance. The E900 coating is designed to deliver a high level of weatherability and abrasion resistance over the life of the vehicle and enable automakers to meet homologation requirements for driver visibility, including different U.S. standards.
Three grams less carbon dioxide per kilometer
Computer analyses have quantified LEXAN resin’s potential to reduce the load on HVAC (heating, ventilating and air conditioning) systems: emissions can be cut by as much as three grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer, and the range of electric and hybrid vehicles can be extended by two to three percent. The PC glazing also features an improved thermal insulation of the passenger cabin, a result of PC’s five-fold lower thermal conductivity relative to glass.
Injection moulded rear windows allow greater freedom of design
The rear window of Ford’s MMLV is identical in geometry to the part used in the Fusion production vehicle. This design approach allows Ford to test the two parts and compare the performance differences between them based strictly on the change in materials. The material’s ability to be injection moulded means windows can be designed to reduce even more weight, increase aerodynamic performance and enhance styling. Designs can go beyond the shape and complexity limitations of glass to glazing with geometric effects that can make possible relatively thin PC surfaces, potentially adding to the weight-out total.