Materials make in-cabin experiences memorable
Exterior styling and performance have been top-of-mind for OEMs for years. But now, they are turning their attention inward, preoccupied with what a memorable in-cabin experience looks like, feels like and performs like.
In other words, the customer experience is everything. Today’s vehicles ideally present an escape for consumers — a luxurious reprieve from everyday pressures.
Engineers tasked with dazzling today’s drivers understand that there must be no distinction between form and function in a car’s cabin. Consumers want their car to improve their mood—an important aspect of improving their quality of their life.
To deliver this experience, engineers are now moonlighting as interior designers by building out interior living concepts for cars. Drivers want automotive living spaces that complement their aesthetic tastes — tastes that can be a moving target or vary widely from person to person.
Among the car interior trends we’re seeing, OEMs are introducing new patterns to car surfaces. In particular, natural materials and surfaces with an authentic look and feel are trending — for example, wood grains, fabric-like woven textures and textiles, cork and stone.
So that designers can create these surfaces with polycarbonates that can be backlit, Covestro developed a dedicated material that can balance the stiffness of glass and the ductility of polycarbonate while keeping the transparency effect; this is Makroblend® OM 845G.
Demand is also high for futuristic, tech-forward and complex designs with curved 3D shapes and 3D relief-type designs. In these instances, you’re more likely to see metal-like surfaces and geometric patterns incorporated.
These are tall orders for design engineers, making it necessary for them to build out multi-material surfaces that check any number of functional boxes.
Only one supplier offers a family of polycarbonate dynamic enough to help engineers bring all of these designs to life: Covestro.