Covestro at the virtual Car Smart Interior Conference & Expo
The car of the future is seamlessly integrated and fully networked
Premium concept with material solutions for the interior of the future
The car of the future will be fully networked and seamlessly integrated into everyday life. Vehicle interiors, in particular, will undergo significant change: They will turn the car into a mobile, multifunctional living and working space. Driving Vision News (DVN) is taking this dynamic development as an opportunity to launch its first conference on car interiors on September 24 – as a livestream event due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Plastics and technologies will play a vital role in the future car cockpit. In collaboration with industry partners, Covestro has developed a premium concept for the car interior of the future. High-tech materials open up a vast array of new possibilities for many different components. The company is presenting the concept at the Car Smart Interior Conference in the form of two presentations and in the virtual showroom. The concept car can now also be discovered in an augmented reality app that can be downloaded from the Android and iOS stores.
Increasing demands on materials
"The interior design of the future will be characterized first and foremost by functionality, comfort and design, but also by efficiency and light weight. We intend to meet the resulting increasing demands with our material concept and are in a leading position here," explains Jochen Hardt, Vice President Global Marketing Mobility, in his presentation. “In particular, a high-quality and individual design has considerable influence on consumers' buying decisions while providing car manufacturers with opportunities for brand differentiation.“
The focus of the concept is on multi-sensor infotainment systems, innovative seating concepts, smart surfaces and personalized lighting. One particular highlight is a seamlessly integrated, three-dimensional multi-functional display. It presents a large-format visual experience for the user, enabled by the good optical quality of Makrolon® Ai polycarbonate and Makrofol® polycarbonate film.
Another key area of focus is the design of surfaces using colors, aesthetic appeal and haptics, with light effects and functions. Lightweight and durable materials such as Makrolon® polycarbonate and Bayblend® and Makroblend® polycarbonate blends are particularly suitable for a host of design solutions, featuring glass-like surfaces, a wide range of colors and possibilities for integrating displays, sensors and cameras. Combined with wafer-thin surface layers of natural materials such as wood or marble, they can create a pleasant sense of wellbeing. With lighting, the effects can be enhanced even further. A further benefit is the good transparency of polycarbonate.
Lightweight construction concept for seat backs
In the program section on auto seating, Florian Dorin from Industrial Marketing Composites Automotive at Covestro reports on an application of Maezio® composites in seat shells of the new electric concept car ENO.146. In the vehicle of the Chinese Guangzhou Automobile Group Co. (GAC), the recycled version of the continuous fiber-reinforced thermoplastic composite Maezio® was used primarily for aesthetic reasons. According to the manufacturer, weight savings of up to 50 percent can be achieved compared to conventional seat concepts. Lightweight materials and an aerodynamic design make this car one of the most aerodynamically efficient vehicles in the world.
"Through component integration, our material can reduce the complexity of the overall component and thus simplify assembly. To this end, functional structures are incorporated into the mold, which reduces the number of parts and materials compared with metal backrests," says Florian Dorin. "We were also able to fulfill GAC's wishes with regard to the CMF categories of color, material and surface. The seat backs fit in well with the car manufacturer's nature-inspired design, which is based on a lake with lotus leaves." Another advantage is the principle recyclability of Maezio® composites.
With 2019 sales of EUR 12.4 billion, Covestro 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, construction, wood processing and furniture, and electrical and electronics industries. Other sectors include sports and leisure, cosmetics, health and the chemical industry itself. Covestro has 30 production sites worldwide and employs approximately 17,200 people (calculated as full-time equivalents) at the end of 2019.
This news release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Covestro AG. 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 Covestro’s public reports which are available at www.covestro.com. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.