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Tuesday - May 5, 2015

Achieving customized automotive interiors easily and cost-effectively

Easy on the eyes

Bayer MaterialScience develops integrated material concept based on polycarbonate
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Customers value diversely and attractively decorated elements and individual ap-pointments, particularly in the interior. At the Plast Milan 2015 Bayer Materi-alScience is showing numerous variants of a decorative strip. The exhibits express the tremendous potential harbored by the use of Makrolon® and Bayblend® products. The development is part of a complete new material concept for the automotive interior.

Milan, May 5, 2015 – In virtually no other industry are the demands on the quality and versatility of surfaces as high as in the automotive industry. Customers value diversely and attractively decorated elements and individual appointments, particularly in the interior. To accommodate this wish, car makers are developing short production runs with numerous variants on the basis of high-volume base platforms. The focus now is on the efficient and cost-effective production of components for the respective vehicle class.

At the Plast Milan plastics trade show from May 5 to 9, 2015, in Milan, Bayer MaterialScience is presenting a complete material concept based on polycarbonate. Geared to future automotive design, it fulfills all specified requirements, including efficient production. To present various design variations to auto makers and direct suppliers, the company has developed a special sample kit.

“Drivers increasingly value customized, personal designs,” says Ciro Piermatteo, automotive applications specialist in the Polycarbonates Business Unit at Bayer MaterialScience. This includes pleasant, atmospheric lighting, a seamless design and transparent, colored and diversely decorated surfaces. “The trend right now is black-and-white, high-gloss surfaces even on vehicle interiors, including trucks,” adds Piermatteo. New on the scene are translucent plastics that have the look of frosted glass and are suitable above all for ambient lighting.

Innovative mold concept for different surface structures
At Plast Milan, the company is showing numerous variations of a decorative strip that is the latest development within this concept. The exhibits express the tremendous potential harbored by the use of Makrolon® and Bayblend® products in this application.

The concept components were created in close collaboration with Gerhardi Kunststofftechnik in Lüdenscheid, Germany. The processing specialist developed an innovative mold concept for efficiently producing a diverse range of surfaces and design variations. The comprehensive performance spectrum of modern Bayer polycarbonate materials enables a single mold frame to be used for a wide range of decorating options.

These include matte and high-gloss structures, attractive color shades with deep luster, and coated or metallized surfaces. This near-series mold can be used to render the most common surface design techniques and thus produce a wide array of variations without adding processing steps.

Components with high functionality in a single process step
Polycarbonates from Bayer MaterialScience also play a key role in the production of coated components with integrated light guides. Besides Makrolon® LED 2245 as the material for the light guide, advanced Bayblend® grades are used as the carrier material. The carrier materials are flooded directly in the mold with polyurethane coatings. The company markets coating raw materials from its Desmodur® and Desmophen® lines for this application. Perfect rendering of the mold surfaces enables structured, pebbled, high-gloss and matte surfaces to be produced simultaneously.

Fabrication using the DirectCoating method co-developed by Bayer is cost-efficient and can be completed in a single step. This method combines injection molding and reaction injection molding (RIM). “With this technology, durable, three-dimensional components with a customized appearance and haptics can be cost-effectively produced in just one manufacturing step,” explains Ciro Piermatteo.

Three-dimensional design freedom with polycarbonate films
Polycarbonate films such as Makrofol® HF open up further prospects for the visual design of automotive interiors. These scratch-resistant, coated films are durable and thanks to new processing technologies can also be shaped three-dimensionally. The result is components with a customizable appearance.

One interesting variation is surfaces with daytime/nighttime designs that are a good fit with the current infotainment trend. The optical display is only visible when switched on thanks to LEDs integrated behind the film. At all other times, the driver sees only an elegant, matte-black surface. The underlying black panel technology was developed a few years ago by Bayer researchers.

About Bayer MaterialScience:
With 2014 sales of EUR 11.7 billion, Bayer MaterialScience is among the world’s largest polymer companies. Business activities are focused on the manufacture of high-tech polymer materials and the development of innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, electrical and electronics, construction and the sports and leisure industries. At the end of 2014 Bayer MaterialScience had 30 production sites and employed approximately 14,200 people around the globe. Bayer MaterialScience is a Bayer Group company.

This news release is available for download from the Bayer MaterialScience press server at www.press.bayerbms.com. Photos are available there for download as well. Please mind the source of the pictures.

Find more information at www.materialscience.bayer.com.

An italian version is available for download here.

Forward-Looking Statements
This release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer Group or subgroup management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Bayer’s public reports which are available on the Bayer website at www.bayer.com. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.