Driven by new technologies, mobility is changing worldwide. Trends such as autonomous driving, connectivity and electrification require completely new vehicle concepts and technologies. Functional plastic solutions play a vital role in ensuring economic, safe and individual integration.
“The value chains face enormous challenges,” explains Dr Eckhard Wenz in a lecture about new plastic concepts for vehicles. The car expert from Covestro recognizes a clear focus: “Most of the future functionalities are derived from the electrical and electronics industry, whether it is about electric drive or battery technology, sensor technology, connectivity or artificial intelligence.”
Key Material for future mobility
Polycarbonate has been used for many years in innovative applications in the electrical/electronics and automotive industries. Due to its outstanding properties, it can also serve as a key material for the new mobility.
At the VDI Congress “Plastics in Automotive Engineering” on March 14 and 15 in Mannheim, Germany, Covestro presents new concepts based on polycarbonate. The focal points of the developments are integration of lighting and sensor technology, automotive glazing, a functional and individually designed interior, and the powertrain for electric vehicles.
Example: seamless design
One example is the seamless glazing of injection-moulded elements and the integration of vitreous body parts. The use of polycarbonate combines design freedom and functionality with the safety of passengers and other road users. For example, seamlessly integrated LED lighting concepts and front elements that are permeable to infrared radiation from LiDAR sensors also contribute to this.
In car interiors, good thermal insulation of polycarbonate also ensures effective thermal management: The air conditioning system consumes less energy when heating and cooling, which leads to a longer range of electric cars.
Especially in car interiors, the optical and haptic material properties play an important part. Covestro uses the exhibition at VDI Congress to show visitors a broad cross-section of its material solutions for future mobility. The Sample Bar gives visitors the chance to see and touch hundreds of samples – an ideal way to discover the fascinating characteristics offered by modern plastics.
Above all, they attract the interest of designers. They offer great freedom, especially in the functional and individual design of the car interior: Ambient lighting with LED technology, new plastic optics and displays can be seamlessly integrated into large plastic components, thus conveying a complete picture.
Welcome to the “Automotive Night”
Together with the VDI, Covestro cordially invites participants of the congress to the “Automotive Night”, which takes place the evening before at the “Manufaktur Mannheim”. The get-together offers a good opportunity to talk to other participants, speakers and exhibitors before the event starts.
With 2016 sales of EUR 11.9 billion, Covestro is among the world’s largest polymer companies. Business activities are focused on the manufacture of high-tech polymer materials and the development of innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, construction, wood processing and furniture, and electrical and electronics industries. Other sectors include sports and leisure, cosmetics, health and the chemical industry itself. Covestro has 30 production sites worldwide and employs approximately 15,600 people (calculated as full-time equivalents) at the end of 2016.