New JV Promotes PC Auto Glazing in Japan

DN Staff

March 2, 2010

3 Min Read
New JV Promotes PC Auto Glazing in Japan

Bayer MaterialScience is joining forces with two Japanesecompanies to promote use of polycarbonate as an automotive glazing material inJapan.

The Bayer unit brings its expertise in materials technologywhile Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Plastic Technology Co. and Kyowa Industrial Co. will providefirepower in molding machines and molds, respectively.

"We see excellent growth opportunities worldwide forpolycarbonate automotive glazing, particularly given the increasingly strictemissions regulations in all leading industrial nations," says Volkhard Krause,head of the global Automotive Glazing team at BayerMaterialScience. "Materials such as ourpolycarbonate Makrolon are much lighter than glass a euro " this enables us to cut theweight of panorama roofs, for example, by up to 50 percent, resulting in asignificant reduction in fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions.Additional functions such as defogging, antennae and infrared protection caneasily be integrated when manufacturing roof modules, rear windows and otherglazing applications. Polycarbonate also offers superb design freedom."

Polycarbonate has dominated auto headlamp glazing for morethan 15 years, but the far bigger goal of replacing window glass has proven amore elusive goal. Some engineers in Detroit avoidmore ambitious applications of polycarbonate for glazing because of perceivedissues with weatherability and scratch resistance despite specialized coatingsystems.

The new JV partners will use an electric two-componentinjection molding machine with reversing plate from Mitsubishi's emR serieswith a locking force of 1,450 metric tons for customer trials in Mitsubishi'snew technical service center at its headquarters in Nagoya City.

Glazing center

The collaboration with the two Japanese partners forms BayerMaterialScience's second large technology cell for developments in thepolycarbonate glazing sector. The first features a new two-component injectionmolding machine with a locking force of 2,300 metric tons at the company's ownglobal Glazing Center in Leverkusen, which went into operation in summer 2009.This machine can manufacture parts up to 1.2 sq m in size.

Bayer says injection molding is the process of choicefor large, three-dimensional glazing components such as panorama roofs. Reducedinjection pressure delivers low-stress and low-distortion components exhibitingexcellent surface quality that work well with wet coats. The German center cancoat three-dimensional molded polycarbonate components measuring up to 1.4sq m using flow coating.

In 1997, Bayer and GE Plastics (now Sabic InnovativePlastics), signed a letter of intent for the founding of a joint venture in thefield of abrasion-resistant coated polycarbonate automobile windows. That JV,called Exatec, is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Sabic Innovative Plastics,and operates an Advanced Technology Development Center in Wixom, MI.

At last summer's National Plastics Exposition in Chicago, Sabic InnovativePlastics introduced a new, high-tech shield to enhance the protection oftransit operators in Toronto. The shield is made of Lexan PC sheet and coated with the Exatec E900 advanced plasma technology for abrasionresistance.

A component is removed by a 6-axis robot in a swivel-plate injection molding machine at Bayer MaterialScience's technical center in Germany.

New JV Promotes PC Auto Glazing in Japan A

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