SABIC stuck to its guns and is slowly starting to see substantial results from years-long efforts to advance polycarbonate glazing in cars.
The company announced today that the new-generation Buick GL8 and GL8 Avenir from SAIC General Motors (SGM) feature the world’s largest polycarbonate (PC) rear quarter window. It’s not a demonstration car—it’s one of the biggest sellers in the China market.
The new rear quarter window is 40 percent (3kg) lighter and more impact resistant than a glass window. Molded PC also offers design enhancements not possible with glass.
A new production facility for PC glazing in Yuyao City, China, built by supplier Ningbo Shentong Auto 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 second shot is ABS, which is used for the blackout areas.
SABIC provided technical assistance and transferred expertise to Shentong on part design, process simulation, equipment selection, testing, prototyping and coating.
“In addition to significant weight reduction, PC glazing allows for greater innovation than is now possible in glass, like design and styling freedom, thermal efficiency and parts integration,” said Jun Luo, Shentong’s deputy general manager. “With our investment in this new manufacturing capability, combined with the benefit of SABIC’s support and expertise, we are now in a strong position to help automakers realize the value from this technology and, ultimately, speed up its wide-scale adoption in the industry.”
SABIC said the ABS/PC combination meets the design and dimensional tolerance requirements of the large rear quarter window. A silicone hard coat protects the part against abrasion and weathering.