Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (Sabic) has debuted what officials say is the largest-ever polycarbonate rear quarter auto window.
The window measures 1,200 millimeters by 450 mm and is featured on Buick's new-generation GL8 multi-purpose vehicles. Two-shot injection compression molding of the window is done in China by Ningbo Shentong Auto Decorations, using Sabic's transparent Lexan PC resin and Cycoloy-brand PC/ABS alloy.
This resin combination helps meet the needs of the part's design and of the tight dimensional tolerance requirements of the large rear quarter window, officials said in a news release. A silicone hard coat protects the part against abrasion and weathering.
The vehicles are made by SAIC General Motors (SGM), which has sold more than 700,000 of them in China since 2000. SGM chose Ningbo Shentong as its Tier 1 supplier for this key window part. The firm is a long-time manufacturer of automotive plastic applications that provided design assistance and technical support for the window from concept to validation, Sabic officials said.
They added that the new window is 40 percent — or 3 kilograms — lighter and significantly more impact resistant than a comparable glass window. The PC window also features design elements that cannot be achieved with glass, officials said.
Ningbo Shentong has invested in a new production facility in Yuyao City for PC glazing. The facility is the first mass production PC glazing line in the country, Sabic officials said.
“This unique window in Lexan resin meets SGM's requirements for a lightweight solution,” automotive business leader Scott Fallon said in the release. “We have enjoyed our collaboration with Shentong to help make this possible, and we look forward to more potential opportunities to work with them to bring the benefits of PC glazing to automakers in China and elsewhere.”
Officials added that the establishment of new PC glazing manufacturing capability in China comes at a time when automakers in the country and across the world are under pressure to adopt lightweight technologies. These technologies can help them comply with emission and fuel economy standards, they said, in addition to improving the driving range of electric vehicles.