Lighting and heating embedded in a car sunroof shade
Structural elements have since changed, making panoramic roofs possible. This meant automotive designers and application developers were left grappling with how to provide effective shade systems for larger sunroofs, windows and windshields in order to avoid overheating, and UV and sun exposure. Roller shades therefore replaced rigid sliding shade systems to provide vehicle interiors with protection from the sun, heat and UV rays
Conversely, at night and on cold days, when the light and warmth vanish ¬– particularly in electric vehicles that lack a heat-generating internal combustion engine – the task was to demonstrate how it is possible to add electric heating and lighting functions to a car interior shade system.
The technical challenge we faced, together with Loomia - a company that has invented a way to bring electronic circuits into everyday soft goods – was to seamlessly incorporate heating and lighting into a lightweight, durable fabric for a roll-up sunroof shade system that can stand up to constant use and everyday flexing and rolling.
Beyond LED lighting, the embedded circuitry would have to provide radiant heating, particularly in electric vehicles (EVs) which lack the heat from an internal combustion engine. By giving these expansive surfaces a heating function, it makes them an alternative to heat pumps. This also demanded a heat and flame-resistant solution that would still meet all traditional shade system criteria such as protection from UV rays and sunlight. Finally, the material solution had to be processable using standard lamination techniques.
Our flexible, durable Loomia electronics layer enabled this roll-up sunroof shade to integrate heating and lighting functions, exploiting an interior space that wasn’t previously used. This is interesting for EV manufacturers, since it makes these large surfaces a viable alternative to heat pumps.
Opaque Platilon® TPU films make up the flexible film used in this sunroof shade demonstrator. It also helps to integrate heating and lighting functionality thanks to a strong thermal lamination bond with Loomia’s electronics layer and fabric face material.
- Multi-functional: The concept roll-up sunroof shade integrates heating and lighting functions.
- Robust: The shade with its TPU film surface can be extended and retracted repeatedly.
- Sun-resistant: Opaque Platilon® film blocks sunlight and prevents vehicle interior overheating.
- Space-efficient: The car sunroof shade adds a heating function to an expansive interior surface.
- Cutting-edge: Lighting and heating can be combined with many surface designs and textures.