Free Newsletter
Register for our Free Newsletters
Advanced Composites
Amorphous Metal Structures
Analysis and Simulation
Asbestos and Substitutes
Associations, Research Organisations and Universities
Automation Equipment
Building Materials
Bulk Handling and Storage
CFCs and Substitutes
View All
Other Carouselweb publications
Carousel Web
Defense File
New Materials
Pro Health Zone
Pro Manufacturing Zone
Pro Security Zone
Web Lec
Pro Engineering Zone

Innovative ideas for plastics applications in the car of the future

Bayer MaterialScience AG : 31 July, 2007  (Company News)
Uninhibited, revealing, the bodywork and floor of the new 'eXasis' concept car are made of transparent plastic, Bayer MaterialScience's Makrolon polycarbonate. The cigar-shaped two-seater was developed by Swiss automotive visionary Frank M. Rinderknecht and the automotive experts at Bayer MaterialScience AG. The engine and aluminum chassis are unashamedly exposed for all to see.
'This transparency stands for our openness and our desire to collaborate with processors, systems suppliers and car manufacturers to turn new ideas and engineering solutions into the car of tomorrow,' says Hans-Peter Neuwald, spokesman for the AutoCreative team, which coordinates the activities of Bayer MaterialScience with the automotive industry at global level. He knows he can count on the company's extensive product portfolio, its comprehensive know-how in processes and technologies and its many years of experience in the automotive industry. '40 years ago, we ventured a look at the automotive future when we introduced the world's first all-plastics car the 'K 67'. Many of the features in that vehicle have indeed since become reality,' says Neuwald.

The 750 kg Rinspeed creation, which is powered by a two-cylinder 750 ccm Weber engine (150 bhp) and runs on bioethanol, has been attracting plenty of attention: the Swiss Federal Office for Energy has selected the concept car as the subject for a study on the topic of 'lightweight construction and ecology'.

Many parts of this stunning vehicle are made with products and raw materials from Bayer MaterialScience, as was the case with its two predecessors, the 'zaZen' and the 'Senso'. Eye-catching features inside are the two transparent indicator and function displays in the cockpit. They appear to hover within the driver's field of vision and are designed as touch panels. They each consist of a CD/DVD Makrolon blank printed on the back and coated with electrically conductive Baytron P polymer from H.C. Starck. The mechanical operating elements in the cockpit feel warm and soft and are pleasing to the touch. This comfort effect is based on a soft-feel polyurethane coating formulated from the high-grade, waterborne coating raw materials Bayhydrol and Bayhydur. The metal parts in the interior are finished with a special chrome effect coating based on Desmodur and Desmophen polyurethane raw materials. The frames of the two seats, which are positioned one behind the other, are made of 12 mm thick sheets of Makrolon and covered with a stainless steel net. The padding of the headrest and armrest is made of transparent Technogel, a lightfast, elastic and plasticizer-free polyurethane gel, which feels soft and warm and makes the seats particularly comfortable and relaxing. In the engine compartment, the cables are sheathed with flexible, abrasion- and media-resistant Desmopan thermoplastic polyurethane. The transparent body parts of Makrolon are produced by thermoforming on tools made of a polyurethane modeling foam based on Desmodur and Desmophen raw materials. The body and floor parts are finished with a shimmering, light yellow hard coat.

'With the new concept car, we wanted to demonstrate that our plastics are tailor-made materials that are suitable for both current trends in automotive design and assembly line production,' says Neuwald. 'This is very much the case, for example, with Makrolon, which is becoming established as a new material for automotive glazing and transparent roof modules. Two other examples are the reinforced polyurethane Bayflex 180/190 as a lightweight engineering material for body parts such as fenders and door sill covers, and special grades of Makrofol PC film and Bayblend polycarbonate, which can be used to create innovative instrument displays.'

AutoCreative: Service from A to Z
One of the main ideas behind AutoCreative is to provide suppliers and car manufacturers with a central contact partner at Bayer MaterialScience. The AutoCreative team is globally positioned and maintains a presence in all the regions that are of relevance to the automotive industry. In addition, a tight Key Account Management system for the Bayer MaterialScience business units ensures close, productive and confidential cooperation with its partners in the auto industry.

Together with the technicians from the Bayer MaterialScience business units, AutoCreative supports processors, systems suppliers and car manufacturers all the way from the initial design of a plastic part to its production. It utilizes all the latest simulation and testing techniques and employs a wide variety of CAE tools, for example to analyze the static load on a component, its natural frequency and its crash behavior. The technicians at Bayer MaterialScience also perform rheological tests, for example mold flow calculations to ensure uniform filling of the mold. The expansion of polyurethane foams can be accurately simulated to optimize mold venting and the orientation of reinforcing fibers.

Another key element of the service package are the technical service laboratories, which are equipped with plastics processing machines for injection molding, extrusion and foaming. They can be used, for instance, to optimize the processing techniques, to design molding tools or produce prototypes. In addition, Bayer MaterialScience has a crash facility for impact tests, a coating chamber and a laboratory washing unit for coating tests. The Bayer MaterialScience Thermoplastics Testing Center is the place to go for advice on all questions relating to test methods. It also offers its know-how to external partners as an authorized test center. Its wide-ranging services for the automotive industry also include performing artificial weathering tests on car interior and exterior parts, and compiling data from high-speed tensile tests for crash simulation.
Bookmark and Share
Home I Editor's Blog I News by Zone I News by Date I News by Category I Special Reports I Directory I Events I Advertise I Submit Your News I About Us I Guides
   © 2012
Netgains Logo