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Design and performance in one
Shooting for the mobility of tomorrow
The demands imposed on modern automobiles are rising rapidly, and on all fronts. The car of the future has to be stylish and personalized, easy to maintain, safe, efficient and environmentally friendly. Our ability to optimize all these characteristics using conventional materials is gradually bumping up against its limits. High-tech polymers from Covestro help make a quantum leap into a new era of innovative mobility concepts that meld revolutionary design with unprecedented performance.
Experts say the world will have at least 2 billion motor vehicles by the year 2050. Each one of which is reason enough to totally rethink the materials used in automotive engineering.
Source: Shell passenger car scenarios, 2014

The new lightness of driving

Greater efficiency and safety with wrap-around glazing made of polycarbonate

Glass and metal: This combination has been the absolute standard in automotive manufacturing for roof components since day one. Can’t we do better? We most certainly can! Especially when a new material displays the same strengths as a conventional one, but overcomes its weaknesses. Covestro researchers have no doubt that transparent polycarbonate can do both.

This high-tech plastic has two decisive advantages over glass: First, it weighs only half as much while offering comparable strength. That makes a car more fuel efficient and therefore more eco-friendly. Second, polycarbonate can be shaped much more easily than glass and therefore is ideal for designing complex geometries. It opens up a whole new world of possibility for automotive designers. And as we know, a signature design is one of the most important criteria for standing out among the crowd of new vehicles.

Instead of the usual heterogeneous structure of windows, pillars and roof, the entire roof module can now be a monolithic, transparent dome, thanks to polycarbonate. Not only does this look spectacular, it also gives passengers a complete 360° panoramic view. Luxury thanks to new perspectives, and a big plus for the safety of other traffic participants.

A new directive only recently approved the use of polycarbonate for front windshields. This was a crucial step for the automotive industry, because it paves the way to innovative wrap-around glazing that takes design, efficiency and safety to a whole new level for future vehicle models. Covestro will continue to support automotive manufacturers and suppliers along the way.

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Diverse uses for polycarbonate throughout the bodywork

"We want to encourage designers to think beyond today’s restrictions and push boundaries with our materials."
Eckhard Wenz, Technical Marketing Automotive

Expertise meets fresh perspectives

Covestro’s collaboration with the Umeå Institute of Design

If we want to push boundaries for future generations, we cannot do so without consulting the very people to whom the future belongs. This certainty was one of the original thoughts behind the project “Magic: Revealed.” Covestro invited students from the distinguished Umeå Institute of Design in Sweden and the Northern Works design agency in Finland to Leverkusen to participate in the project. Its purpose was to go push the existing boundaries between aesthetics and materials and develop new ideas for design and functionality that fulfill the dreams of future drivers.

In today’s automobile industry, having a signature look is a must for a strong brand identity. Polycarbonate has the necessary properties for venturing into new dimensions in automotive engineering: Apart from excellent mechanical properties, the material offers maximum design freedom. For the purposes of the project, the student’s creativity therefore was virtually unlimited. The participants concentrated on using polycarbonate in novel daytime and nighttime lighting applications, creative surfaces and integrated solutions.

The valuable ideas and findings that later were incorporated in the development by Covestro of a concept car for K 2016 are a testament to the success of the project. The collaboration between students, researchers, Covestro engineers and marketing professionals further proved one thing above all: Integrated solutions require integrated thinking, and pioneering developments can only succeed on the basis of interdisciplinary teamwork.

More information

Driving Visions – Materials inspiring future vehicle design.

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Future-oriented mobility concepts are just one of the areas in which Covestro is pushing the boundaries of possibilities. Follow the links and learn more about our commitment to a brighter world!
Covestro materials open new horizons – in the air and on the ground.
Covestro is transforming the climate killer CO2 into a useful raw material.
Covestro helps to make wind power more economical.
An overview of all highlight stories.