Polycarbonate in Automotive Easy on the Eyes: New Polycarbonate Makes its Way for Individualised Cars

Editor: Dominik Stephan

Plastic component in cars and automobiles don't have to look and feel cheap: More and more car manufacturers discover polycarbonate as a material for numerous variants of specially designed car interiors. Companies like Bayer and Gerhardi have developed specially tailored solutions to bring polycarbonates on the street.

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Shining result: Dr. Markus Mechtel (r.) and Thomas Klimmasch evalute a test coating
Shining result: Dr. Markus Mechtel (r.) and Thomas Klimmasch evalute a test coating
(Picture: Bayer)

Leverkusen/Germany - In virtually no other industry are the demands regarding the quality and diversity of surfaces as high as in the automotive industry. Customers value diversely and attractively decorated elements and individual appointments, particularly in the interior. To accommodate this wish, carmakers are developing short production runs with numerous variants on the basis of high-volume base platforms. The focal point here is on the efficient and cost-effective production of components for the respective vehicle class.

At the K 2013 plastics trade fair, Bayer Material Science presented a complete, polycarbonate-based material concept that is oriented on the future design of automotive interiors and satisfies all of the aforementioned requirements. The company is showing numerous variants of a decorative strip that is the latest development within this concept at the VDI conference Plastics in Automotive Engineering April 2 and 3 in Mannheim, Germany. The exhibits express the potential of Bayer's Makrolon and Bayblend products in this application.

Bayer and Gerhardi Committed to Efficient Production from Polycarbonate

The concept components were created in close collaboration with Gerhardi Kunststofftechnik in Lüdenscheid, Germany. The processing specialist developed an innovative mold concept in which a diverse range of surfaces and design variants can be efficiently produced. The comprehensive performance spectrum of modern Bayer polycarbonate materials enables a single mold frame to be used for a wide range of decorating options.

"These include matte and high-gloss structures, attractive shades with deep luster and also coated, film-decorated and metallized surfaces," says Dirk Kieslich, Head of Product and Process Development at Gerhardi. "This near-series mold can be used to replicate the most common surface design techniques and thus produce a wide array of variants without further processing steps."