Sabic touts polycarbonate side windows

By Rhoda Miel
News Editor

Published: October 28, 2013 10:08 am ET
Updated: October 28, 2013 10:12 am ET

Image By: Caroline Seidel Stephen Shuler, Sabic marketing director for vehicle body systems, stands beside Volkswagen's XL1 high-efficiency hybrid car at K 2013.

Related to this story

Topics Automotive, Materials, Injection Molding, K 2013, Business News & Features
Companies & Associations Sabic Innovative Plastics, Volkswagen AG

DÜSSELDORF, GERMANY — Sabic Innovative Plastics has spent more than 10 years working to convince the auto industry to use more polycarbonate as a glass replacement for car windows.

Its Exatec LLC unit developed glazing technology to protect the plastic and ensure PC will meet safety and performance requirements. It has won some success in sunroof systems, especially in Europe, but now is making its debut on side windows, appearing on Volkswagen AG's XL1 high-efficiency hybrid car.

The XL1 was exhibited at K 2013, held Oct. 16-23 in Düsseldorf.

The hybrid uses plastics extensively, with carbon fiber used for its body and lithium-ion battery pack providing support for the electric drive. It is going into limited production at this point, with each one made at VW's Osnabrück, Germany, plant. The plug-in electric engine is supported by a diesel hybrid engine, with the two systems capable of going 100 kilometers on less than 1 liter of fuel.

The unconventional design has a streamlined shape to improve the car's aerodynamics. The driver's and passenger's seats are slightly off-center from each other to allow for a narrower car body.

The two-seat vehicle is the first vehicle to feature advanced plasma coating on two-component injection molded PC windows, Sabic said. Volkswagen said the side windows are 33 percent lighter than conventional glass, but the driver and passenger can still roll down the small windows — making them the first PC roll-down, moving windows used in the auto industry. The XL1 also uses Sabic's Lexan PC in the rear quarter windows.

Sabic has made a long-term commitment to developing PC as a real alternative for the auto industry globally. Its Exatec facility in Wixom, Mich., has full-production prototyping capabilities with molding and glazing operations.

"We're passionate about glazing in cars because of what it can do with polycarbonate in parts integration," said Scott Fallon, general manager for automotive at Sabic.

The auto industry is now beginning to catch on, thanks to demands for improved fuel economy in North America and reduced emissions in Europe.

"The challenges within the industry are all pointing things in our favor now," he said.

While the XL1 is a limited-production vehicle, it still is an important vehicle for Volkswagen, capable of bringing together multiple technologies. It is an icon for the carmaker, and Lexan and Exatec are a prominent part of it — right down to having the Exatec logo on the side windows.

Exatec will produce the windows and ship them to Germany for assembly.

"The plasma-coated windows from Sabic are one of many distinguishing features on the XL1 that help us lighten the vehicle to reduce energy consumption," said Ulrich Hackenberg, member of the board for Volkswagen's passenger-car group.

In addition to the XL1, Sabic also is showcasing a concept for an all-thermoplastic liftgate, which would come in at 30 percent lighter than a conventional tailgate. The concept would use Stamax long-glass-fiber-reinforced polypropylene or Vertron long-glass-fiber-reinforced polybutylene terephthalate for structural components, Noryl GTX for the outer layer and Lexan PC with Exatec coating to replace the glass.

The total weight savings adds up to 12 kilograms (26½ pounds).

"The real benefit is in system integration," Fallon said. "We didn't just replace metal, we showed what the whole system can do."


Comments

Sabic touts polycarbonate side windows

By Rhoda Miel
News Editor

Published: October 28, 2013 10:08 am ET
Updated: October 28, 2013 10:12 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Meredian merging with Danimer Scientific

July 24, 2014 1:59 pm ET

Bioplastics maker Meredian Inc. is merging with its sister firm, Danimer Scientific LLC.    More

Image

US Bioplastics receives funding to bring Gatoresin to the market

July 24, 2014 1:44 pm ET

Materials maker U.S. Bioplastics is hoping its Gatoresin product will take a bite out of the bioplastics market, thanks to funding from a state...    More

Image

Prices trending up for some recycled resins

July 24, 2014 1:27 pm ET

Plastics News is correcting prices for recycled grades of several commodity resins on this week's resin pricing chart.    More

Image

Injection molder, recycler Polyvulc USA puts itself up for sale

July 24, 2014 12:41 pm ET

Fred Farrell and Larry Lambiotte, founders of Polyvulc USA Inc. and its subsidiaries Polyvulc Tire Recycling Llc and Winnsboro Rubber Recycling LLC,...    More

Image

BASF posts growth in second quarter

July 24, 2014 11:08 am ET

German chemical giant, BASF SE, has announced a 1 percent growth in sales for the second quarter of 2014 compared to the same period in 20...    More

Market Reports

Injection Molders Market Report & Ranking 2014

This special package contains our 132-page 2014 Market Report on the Injection Molding segment and our exclusive 2014 RANKINGS database of 500+ Injection Molders for a discounted package price.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Market Review & Outlook 2014

This special report from Plastics News examines the North American plastics recycling industry and provides insight into indicators that impact market viability, including Resin pricing trends for virgin and recycled market material and historical Resin production trends for post- consumer and industrial waste.

Learn more

Shale Gas Market - Analysis of North American Region

This report highlights the impact of shale-based natural gas on the North American plastics market and features an in-depth analysis of production trends in the United States during 2013 and a forecast for 2014 and beyond.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events