Evonik debuts at Auto Shanghai 2011; focus on technologies for lower-carbon vehicles

For the first time at the event, Evonik Industries will demonstrate a wide range of applications for cars at the 14th Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition (Auto Shanghai 2011) from April 21 to 28 in Shanghai, China.

The theme of Auto Shanghai 2011, “Innovation for Tomorrow”, reflects that low-carbon, green economy and sustainable development will become trends of the Chinese automotive industry. Evonik says that its four key innovation fields in the automotive industry—Lightweight Design, Fuel Savings and Emission Reduction, Surface Technologies, and Lighting Technologies—match with these trends.

China’s overall auto sales rose 32.4% to 18.06 million units in 2010. In order to capture the opportunities in an energy efficient automotive market, Evonik set up the Lightweight Design Automotive project in China last October.

Evonik’s products have been successfully used in the lightweight design of vehicles, such as ROHACELL foam core for sandwich structure of hatch back, PLEXIGLAS for automotive glazing, VESTAMELT adhesion promoter for structural hybrid parts, etc. ROHACELL foam core covered with fiber reinforced materials can lower the weight of a car body significantly by 60% compared to steel parts, according to Evonik.

Diamines marketed under the trade name VESTAMIN are components in high performance fiber reinforced epoxy parts imparting high-strength, light-weight sandwich as well as monolithic composite structures. PMMA glazing by Evonik offers a weight savings potential for car screens by 40-50%, but still has excellent performance in acoustics, UV resistance and weathering. Structural hybrid parts incorporating VESTAMELT adhesion promoter can reduce material consumption by about 25% but as strong as before or even higher in bond forces between steel and polymer.

Evonik also provides solutions for tires, tubing systems and powertrain. For example, the use of silane additive Si 363 allows the tire’s rolling resistance to be reduced by about 10% compared with conventional tires, which leads to fuel savings of 3 to 8%, Evonik says. The product has already been applied in Aspire Low Rolling Resistance tire. Fuel lines made of Evonik’s special plastics are, by virtue of their durable properties, thinner and lighter and thus more easily formable than common systems of metal or elastomers. They are also able to lower weight considerably. Under the VISCOPLEX trademark, Evonik RohMax develops high-performance components added to lubricants to make them more efficient and reliable, as well as to prolong the service life of engines and gears.

In addition, Evonik will also display a “Heat BuildUp” box with illumination, which demonstrates the concept of PLEXIGLAS Heatstop—a specialty molding compound. It is particularly suitable for dark-coloured exterior applications; its special formulation enables it to reflect solar heat radiation. Car roofs made from PLEXIGLAS Heatstop “with cool touch effect” show up to 22% less heat build-up than components made from conventional materials. They therefore reduce the temperature inside the vehicle by an average of 5 °C, related to the solar radiation on a regular summer’s day in Central Europe. Light-stable polyurethanes based on VESTANAT di- and polyisocyanates find applications in premium quality automotive interior trim like e.g. skins for I-panels, domings for decorative parts and leather coatings as well as soft-feel-coatings.

Evonik provides plastics for both the interior and exterior parts of automobile, featuring excellent UV resistance and weatherability, while also lowering fuel consumption. PLEXIMID TT70 gives headlamp lens and light guide manufacturers a material that can cope with the high heat loads and permits dynamic styling at the same time. PLEXIMID, a grade of polymethylmethacrylimide (PMMI), is a further development of PLEXIGLAS PMMA product and shows similarly high transparency and resistance to weathering and UV light as the other popular PMMA products from Evonik.

Evonik’s Automotive Industry Team (AIT) was founded in 2004 as a cut surface to the Original Equipment Manufacturers. This team bundles the competencies of four business units from Evonik as development partner for new technologies. The China AIT was established in 2006, with aims to provide localized and customized solutions for local OEMs, catering to the market trends and needs of Chinese automotive industry.

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