Low weight and huge design freedom: Due to these advantages, polymers are once again finding increasing use in vehicles. When it comes to glazing, though, they have never been considered ideal. That view is set to change thanks to a new special-purpose molding compound made from polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA).
Every gram saved saves on fuel. This simple relationship is one of the main reasons why auto makers are increasingly producing parts from lightweight polymers instead of from heavier metal or glass. Weight is a chief concern for vehicles with conventional powertrains, but it is even more crucial to the growing market of electric vehicles. And while sustainability is paramount, it is important not to lose sight of performance, functionality and design requirements. Polymethyl methacrylate is one of the polymers that meets these requirements – this material is firmly established in several automotive applications where it is used to make durable tail-light covers and non-transparent add-on body parts, for example. In others, it is gaining more and more market share, e. g. interior applications such as ambient lighting and door sill trims. Another area that has long been predicted to hold out great potential is polymer glazing.
The premise behind this view is that polymer glazing out-scores glass in a number of ways: panes made from Plexiglas, the highly transparent PMMA from Evonik Industries AG, Darmstadt, Germany, …...
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