Largest-Ever PC Rear Quarter Window
Weight Reduction of 40 Percent
SAIC General Motors (SGM) has launched in China its new-generation Buick GL8 and GL8 Avenir luxury multi-purpose vehicles (MPVs), which sport the world’s largest polycarbonate (PC) rear quarter window, molded from Sabic’s Lexan resin.
The new rear quarter window is 40 percent (3kg) lighter and significantly more impact resistant than a comparable glass window. The PC window also features design elements that cannot be achieved with glass, contributing to the more innovative exterior of the new-generation GL8. It measures a record-breaking 1200mm by 450mm. It is two-shot injection compression molded using Sabic’s transparent Lexan PC resin and Cycoloy resin, a PC/acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) material (used for the blackout area). This resin combination helps meet the specific needs of the part’s design and the tight dimensional tolerance requirements of the large rear quarter window. A silicone hard coat protects the part against abrasion and weathering.
SGM chose Ningbo Shentong Auto Decorations as its tier one supplier for this key window part. Shentong, a long-time manufacturer of automotive plastic applications, provided design assistance and technical support across the entire development cycle from concept to validation. In addition, Shentong invested in a new production facility for PC glazing. This facility is located in Yuyao City, China, and is the first mass production PC glazing line in the country. Manufacturing capabilities include the latest PC glazing technologies, including advanced two-component injection compression molding and flow coating processes. The establishment of new PC glazing manufacturing capability in China comes at a time when automakers in the country and across the world are under pressure to adopt lightweight technologies that can help them comply with increasingly stringent emission and fuel economy standards, in addition to improving the driving range of electric vehicles.
Sabic worked very closely with Shentong to support development of the window system and enable production readiness. Specifically, Sabic provided technical assistance and transferred expertise to Shentong on part design, process simulation, equipment selection, testing, prototyping and coating.
SABIC Saudi Basic Industries Corporation
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