The vehicle-manufacturing industry

Coated safety glazing materials and components for the vehicle industry

We deliver polycarbonate (PC), which is an impact-resistant and safe material, for use in safety glazing.

In the vehicle industry, the machines and components used experience high levels of wear and tear. In addition to being exposed to a broad range of temperatures, from -50 °C to 50 °C, the machines are used in environments that are exposed to water, ice, snow, and blazing sunshine. These machines operate under heavy loads on challenging terrain amid dust and sand, or in the harsh conditions of regions such as Siberia.

Vehicle manufacturers must be able to guarantee the machine operators a safe working environment, with minimal maintenance needs. That’s why plastic is becoming the material of choice for many machine parts.

With coatings, the material can be given a surface that is more abrasion- and wear-resistant. The material is delivered to the client as cut-to-size sheets and pre-formed parts. Our range includes clear 15 mm polycarbonate sheets and 3–12 mm sheets with clear, bronze and green as the colour options.

We also deliver packages of machined plastic components for the vehicle industry, including gearwheels, pulley wheels, idler wheels and slide blocks.

The main reasons for using plastics

  • high mechanical strength
  • good resistance to wear
  • good resistance to chemicals
  • good weather-resistance
  • a low coefficient of friction
  • lightness

Applications

  • Glazing
  • Slide blocks and bearings
  • Grommets
  • Guide rings
  • Shields
  • Furnishings


Glazing for vehicles

Polycarbonate (PC)

Polycarbonate is a clear material with an extremely high impact strength. It is also half the weight of glass. In addition, it is easy to drill and machine without the risk of cracking. Polycarbonate is one of the few plastics that can be bent both cold and heated.

This material’s only weaknesses are its low resistance to solvents and a soft surface that makes it prone to scratching.

Polycarbonate in brief

  • good optical transparency
  • high impact strength
  • lightness
  • easy machining and bending
  • low creep
  • relatively strong resistance to high temperatures

Hard-coated polycarbonate

Plastic materials are available with a variety of coating solutions, such as a hard, anti-static or anti-frost coating. Hard coating is the surface solution of choice in the vehicle manufacturing industry, since it overcomes PC’s weaknesses.

It provides PC with a surface that is resistant to wear and chemicals. A hard coating is also resistant to UV radiation and helps to prevent the brittleness and yellowing caused by changing weather conditions.

When a hard coating is used, polycarbonate makes an ideal material for vehicle glazing.

Laminated polycarbonates

In laminated polycarbonate, sheets of polycarbonate alternate with polyurethane film. This layered structure improves the material’s impact strength without compromising optical transparency. The manufacturing method enables the production of bulletproof windows from polycarbonate.

In addition to the vehicle manufacturing industry, the defence industry uses laminated polycarbonate to make visors for helmets and for vehicle glazing.

Heated polycarbonate windows

The laminating technique enables the production of heated polycarbonate window glazing.

An electrically conductive film is laminated between polycarbonate sheets, creating a heated surface when an electrical charge is applied to it. With heated glazing, windows in inaccessible locations can be kept transparent without the need for mechanical cleaning.

The heated film does not affect the material’s optical transparency.

Testing

The European Union’s Machinery Directive pertains to work machines. Under the directive, a machine equipped with a cabin must be designed so as to protect the driver from falling and flying objects, and to prevent any injuries caused by the vehicle overturning.

Before a machine may be placed on the market, its cabin must undergo thorough testing.

  • The term ‘ROPS’ is used with reference to the rollover protection system and its testing.
  • ‘FOPS’ refers to the falling-object protection system and its testing.
  • ‘OPS’ is used in reference to testing of the operator-protection structures.

Standards that govern cabin strength tests:
ISO 3471, ISO 3449, ISO 8082, ISO 8083, ISO 8084, SAE J 1040 and SAR J 1084

Other applications

Slide blocks and bearings

  • PA 6 G
  • PA 6 G + OIL
  • PE 1000 + MoS2
  • PE 1000
  • POM

Grommets and guide rings

  • PE 1000
  • POM
  • PA 6 G

Shields

  • PC
  • Hard-coated PC
  • ABS