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Flame-retardant polycarbonate protects 3D-printed steering wheel

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In the Australian Outback, temperatures soar as high as 39 degrees Celsius. While it’s hot outside, the Sonnenwagen’s cockpit is even hotter. With our flame-retardant polycarbonate, the team’s 3D-printed steering wheel can withstand these grueling temperatures.

Task

Protect the electronics inside the steering wheel

Electronics are found in several of the steering wheel’s parts. In order to protect these components from the heat, flame retardancy was necessary. Some parts, such as the paddles, also required a high-performance and mechanically strong material.

We were looking for a lightweight yet stiff material for the steering wheel parts.

Kersten Heckmann

Steering Engineer, Sonnenwagen Aachen e. V.

Challenge

Find a strong material for 3D printing

3D printing can have limitations when it comes to the mechanical strength of materials. The team first turned to current materials on the market, but they ultimately caused the steering wheel’s 3D-printed paddles to break.

3D printing is all about tackling new challenges. We’re looking forward to customer collaborations so we can solve those challenges together.

Lukas Breuers

Marketing Manager, Additive Manufacturing, Covestro

Solution

PolyMax™ PC-FR steers the way to strength and flame retardancy

Polycarbonate is a top choice for parts that need to retain strength, toughness and shape while operating in high-temperature environments. We knew this material would check all of the boxes for the Sonnenwagen’s 3D-printed steering wheel. Together with Polymaker, we developed a new polycarbonate: PolyMax™ PC-FR. Featuring flame retardancy and good mechanical strength, this material has what it takes for not only the steering wheel, but other electrical and electronic applications.


PolyMax™ PC-FR is a high-strength polycarbonate that complies with the fire ratings needed for creating functional prototypes and working parts featured on the car.

Luke Taylor

Marketing Manager, Polymaker

Why PolyMax™ PC-FR was the right solution for the Sonnenwagen steering wheel

  • Mechanically strong: Strength remains unchanged when bent or when force is applied.
  • Flame-retardant: Strength remains unchanged when bent or when force is applied.

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