Panoramic roofs are a clear upward trend in all markets. The proliferation of models that incorporate spectacular panoramic moons is an example of this. This trend coexists with the need to reduce the weight of all automotive components to reduce CO2 emissions into the atmosphere. Grupo Antolin, a global provider of technological solutions for automotive interiors, has the answer to both trends with the development of new technical plastics for its interiors.
The Advanced Engineering of the Roofing Business Unit, together with the Grupo Antolin project teams and in collaboration with the BASF company, have successfully validated the use of a material from the Ultradur® family in plastic frames for solar and panoramic windows . Likewise, the company has made a novel design of these plastic frames, including technical details that allow the weight of the piece to be lightened by up to 60% compared to other traditional solutions on the market. This solution is an example of the company’s technological commitment to help its customers in the development of more sustainable vehicles by reducing weight and emissions. The reduction of CO2 emissions to the atmosphere can reach up to 25,200 tons during the complete life cycle of a model *.
One of the main advantages of the design of the new plastic parts is the change in the process of joining and adjusting the frame to the ceiling, which allows eliminating additional steps in the process and improving assembly tolerances, as well as the overall finish of the part. . In addition, the new bonding process is completely sustainable as it does not involve solvents or generate emissions.
The material chosen, from the polyester family, is a PBT-ASA-PET loaded with fiberglass to increase the rigidity and stability of the piece. The main advantages of the material are:
- High rigidity.
- Ease of molding and processing.
- Low total shrinkage and high dimensional precision.
- Good resistance to high and low temperatures.
In order to increase the mechanical strength of the Ultradur® PBT, a high load of glass fiber is added and modified with a copolymer of acrylonitrile and styrene. The result is a rigid material that presents low molding shrinkage, ensuring compliance with tolerances, especially in processes where the frame is fixed to the ceiling in the mold during forming.
“Due to its good behavior during injection and its excellent surface quality, PBT-ASA-PET is very suitable for manufacturing large slender parts for the interior of the car. Furthermore, thanks to its good processability, we have managed to reduce the weight without losing rigidity or dimensional stability at high temperatures ”, says Enrique Fernández, Director of Advanced Engineering of Grupo Antolin’s Ceiling Business Unit.
Following pre-development work with a German customer, the first pilot with this material was launched in a project for a high-volume vehicle with extraordinary results. Following the success of this project, programs with this solution have been launched with various car manufacturers around the world.
SOURCE: Grupo Antolin