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OEM fog lamp housing molded from Makrolon® TC polycarbonate

A major OEM and supplier aimed to reduce the weight and complexity of a fog lamp housing used in a light truck. Using Makrolon® TC polycarbonate, we collaborated to create what is believed to be the first application of a thermally conductive polymer in an automotive LED fog lamp housing.
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Task

Create a lightweight fog lamp housing with fewer components

Automotive OEMs, engineers and designers know that decreasing component weight is an effective  way to boost vehicle fuel efficiency and performance. A major OEM saw an opportunity to accomplish this by improving the housing of the fog lamp and needed the right material for the job.  
Challenge

Find a material that reduces component weight and complexity

The truck’s fog lamp housing utilized die-cast aluminum. However, this material is heavier and requires more components to form the fog lamp. The OEM and supplier needed a lightweight material that reduces complexity and offers excellent heat management. 
Solution

Makrolon® TC polycarbonate shines in auto innovation

The OEM turned to Makrolon® TC polycarbonate from Covestro. This material is injection molded to form the fog lamp housing, marking the automotive industry’s first use of a thermally conductive polymer in this OEM component. When compared to the aluminum previously used, Makrolon® TC polycarbonate reduces the housing’s weight, component count and costs. This innovation was honored as a finalist in the 49th Annual SPE Automotive Innovation Awards Competition in the Materials category. 

This application of a thermally conductive polycarbonate in a fog lamp housing opens the door to new possibilities, such as more flexible heat sink designs, integrated electronics, and the use of lamp housings for thermal management.

Michael George

Automotive Lighting Segment Manager,Covestro LLC

Why Makrolon® TC was the right solution for the fog lamp housing

  • Low density Provides more than 40% weight savings compared to die-cast aluminum.
  • Less complex Redesign enables over 10% reduction in component count.
  • Cost-efficient Reduces costs for full lamp assembly by 20%.
  • High thermal conductivity  Offers excellent heat management.
  • Recyclable Allows for easy recycling of the housing once the LED board is removed.

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