Acrylite-brand molding compounds made by materials firm Röhm GmbH are "shining like diamonds" in taillights of the DS 4 luxury vehicle.
Auto supplier Marelli Automotive Lighting is using laser welding to make taillights for the premium hatchback from DS Automobiles of France, which is part of Citroën. In a news release, officials with Röhm in Darmstadt, Germany, said that the materials "provide both aesthetic and functional properties to guarantee an emotional product design."
"The metalized design of our taillights is inspired by nature … and also draws from symbols of luxury, such as polished diamonds or the famous glass pyramid in front of the Louvre in Paris," said DS lighting and exterior design head Nicolas Deluy.
Marelli of Reutlingen, Germany, made the taillight cover with a clear Acrylite molding compound, which was then framed by a black gloss contour made from Acrylite Hi-Gloss 8N black. Officials said this interplay "completes the high-quality overall look of the taillights." They added that the DS 4 taillight is the first time the cover is not a level surface, but instead is modeled like a sculpture.
"The taillight covers continue the dynamic lines and proportions of the avant-garde exterior design, like an extension of the body," Deluy said.
Officials added that Acrylite molding compounds are ideal for injection molding such large and 3D components. The balanced property profile and the advancements in lighting technology mean the materials have "almost infinite options" for both exterior and lighting design, they added.
For the DS 4 taillights, Marelli joined the cover and the housing using a laser welding process. In light of the complexity of the component, designing the welding ribs was a challenge, particularly on the lateral side, Marelli R&D head Arnaud Mouchon said.
"Had we used another process, such as vibration welding, we would not have been able to work precisely enough here," he added.
According to Paris-based DS, 95 percent of the DS 4 is made from reusable materials, while 30 percent of its weight is from renewable or recycled materials, divided between metals and polymers. In this area, Acrylite "is sustainable by design and helps save resources in automobile design," Röhm global sustainability head Sven Schröbel said.
Röhm employs 3,500 at 13 production sites worldwide. The firm's North American headquarters is in Parsippany, N.J.
Polymethyl methacrylate products from Röhm are sold in the Americas under the Acrylite and Acrymid trade names and on the European, Asian, African and Australian continents under the Plexiglas and Pleximid trade names.