Glass and metal. In automotive engineering, this combination has always been regarded as a peerless standard in the construction of windows and roofs. A high-tech solution is now calling this into question: transparent polycarbonate. The material combines the strengths of conventionally used materials – and at the same time overcomes their weaknesses.
In comparison to glass, polycarbonate has two decisive advantages. On the one hand, the high-tech plastic is only around half as heavy but retains comparable resistance. This makes the car more economical in terms of fuel consumption and thus more environmentally friendly. On the other hand, polycarbonate can be molded much more flexibly than glass and is therefore suitable for complex geometries. This gives car designers unprecedented freedom of design. This is a decisive competitive advantage because unique design is one of the most important criteria for standing out from the crowd today.
Instead of the usual structure consisting of windows, columns and roof, polycarbonate can be used to realize the entire roof area as a continuous, transparent dome. This design not only looks spectacular, but also improves the passengers’ visibility to a full 360-degree panorama. The result? Luxury thanks to new perspectives and at the same time a big boost in safety for other road users.
A new directive has recently made it possible to use polycarbonate as a material for windscreens. This is a decisive step for the automotive industry, as it paves the way for innovative all-round glazing that raises the design, efficiency and safety standards of future models to a new level. Covestro will continue to support automotive manufacturers and suppliers in the future.