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Polycarbonate to Play Key Role in E-Mobility and Autonomous Driving

  Seamless integration of LED lighting, insulation properties, strong optics, good haptics and more lend PC to new mobility applications.  


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Polycarbonate, with its established history of innovative applications in the E/E and automotive arenas, can prove to be a key material for the new ‘e-mobility’ market, according to Pittsburgh-based Covestro. At the upcoming VDI “Plastics in Automotive Engineering” Congress (Manheim, Germany; March 14-15), Covestro will highlight new concepts based on PC that are being driven by new technologies.

Trends such as autonomous driving, connectivity and electrification require very new vehicle concepts and technologies, says Covestro car expert Dr. Eckhard Wenz. “The value chains face enormous challenges…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.”

New PC-based concepts to be highlighted by Covestro include integration of lighting and sensor technology, automotive glazing, a functional and individually designed interior, and the powertrain for electric vehicles.

Seamless design: A good example is the seamless design of injection-molded elements and the integration of vitreous body parts. The use of PC 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.

Insulation: In car interiors, good thermal insulation of PC 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.

Hands-on materials: Particularly in car interiors, the optical and haptic material properties play an important part. Covestro will use the exhibition at the VDI Congress to show visitors a broad cross-section of its material solutions for future mobility. According to Covestro, the company’s Sample Bar will give 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.