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Polycarbonates pave the way in future automotive interiors

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It’s safe to say that screens are now as much a part of the driving experience as seats. The trend towards a seamless integration of touch screens, ambient lighting and greater personalization is reshaping automotive interior design. Polycarbonates (PC) offer numerous advantages in achieving this and more. We wanted to show these possibilities in a new 3D display.

“This application is another good example of providing an innovative approach for future market needs. Proactively pushing our technology solution with various value chain partners will definitely enhance our leading position in the market.”

Michelle Jou

Global Head of the Polycarbonates Business Untit, Covestro

Task

Develop a large-3-dimensional display demonstrator to show PC performance

Showing the many advantages and added value of PC within automotive screen design meant making the experience something extraordinary. That’s why we at Covestro developed, together with our partners, a large, 3-dimensional display demonstrator. The over one meter installation needed to be fully functional and invite visitors to interact with its many future-ready features including touchable screens, touchable surfaces and dynamic ambient lighting. Bringing this all to life required advanced processing solutions and various technological capabilities, which were only obtainable through close cooperation and a shared vision.

Challenge

Meet the many production demands of a large display demonstrator

Creating a functional, large-scale display that showcases the benefits of PC comes with a long list of requirements to be fulfilled. Among these are overcoming complex 3D geometries, the seamless integration of assembly structures and the precise, injection molding of large and thin components to ensure both robustness and touch sensitivity. It’s also crucial to guarantee a high optical quality and safety aspects such as head impact requirements. These demands echo the automotive trend towards interiors with large, multi-touch screens and reliable, highly durable panels.

Solution

Collaboration with our value chain partners

The final display reflected the combined expertise that went into its construction and consists of a three-layer structure. The top layer is a Makrofol® film, while the middle and bottom layers are Makrolon® Ai and Bayblend®. The combination of high optical quality PC film and PC resins allows for a great degree of design freedom and component integration. The mix of material also offers high impact resistance as well as a durable, robust surface. Advanced molding processes minimize internal stress, birefringence levels, ink flush and film deformation while helping improve the production yield rate.

“The large size integrated display system which Covestro has shown is very innovative. It reflects new trends in automotive interior design and has great potential in commercial application. This innovative product design brings more possibilities to our designers and provides feasible production solutions."

Wang Xiquan

Design Director, Dongfeng Yanfeng

Why PC innovations from Covestro are the right fit for automotive panel requirements

  • More flexibility Greater design freedom & component integration
  • Robust and resistant properties Makrolon® Ai offers a high degree of impact resistance and optical purity, offering a wide range of tailor made colors
  • High viewing quality Makrofol® ensures optimal quality with robust materials
  • Improved product quality and yield rate Injection compression molding improves product quality and heightens production efficiency
  • Greater structural integrity 2-shot molding for optimal structure and stiffness

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