Thursday, October 28, 2010

SPE award for VW group polycarbonate roof panel made by Webasto

NEUSS, GERMANY (Oct. 27, 3 a.m. ET) -- Automotive roofing specialist company Webasto AG received a joint second place award in the exterior category at the Society of Plastics Engineers Central Europe automotive awards night on Oct. 25 in Neuss. The award was for the 1,140-mm-long and 980-mm wide U-shaped black polycarbonate roof panel of the 2010 Volkswagen Polo.

SPE judges praised the single part high glass its functional integration. They also liked how high gloss glass-like surface perfectly matches the appearance of the adjoining glass roof glazing.

Webasto molds the panel on its 2,300 tonne clamping force KraussMaffei glazing injection moulding machine. The company also has a 2,700 metric ton Battenfeld glazing machine at its Schierling, Germany, plant, which it bought in October 2009.

The panel is molded in a tool from Hummel Formen and is treated with a Momentive Performance Materials (Hall 8a Stand K43) polysiloxane lacquer in Webasto’s Eisenmann coating line in Schierling.

Although Webasto received the award two days before the K 2010 fair opened, Bayer Material Science, as supplier of the polycarbonate, has meanwhile shown the part on its K stand (Hall 6, Stand A75).

In a joint statement issued on Oct. 26 by Bayer and Webasto, the companies revealed that the U-shaped panel is produced in Bayer’s Makrolon 2605 MAS 083 grade and that the panel is also used on the Audi A1 car.

The companies also pointed out that the Momentive polysiloxane wet-coat system, used now for the first time in a series application, combines the established AS 4700 topcoat grade with a new SHP 470FT 2050 primer. Benefits of the new coating system are said to include improved weathering performance, especially for dark and black parts such as the awarded U-shaped panel.

Third place in the SPE’s exterior category awards went to the molder and moldmaker M├╝rdter Metall und Kunststoffverarbeitung for the hybrid sheet steel and plastic roof module frame that contributes, together with the associated U-shaped polycarbonate panel, to the low 22kg overall weight of the Polo/A1 roof system. The frame is made from the Schuladur A3GF30 30 percent glass-fiber reinforced PBT/ASA blend from A. Schulman (Hall 8a Stand D12).

European Plastics News will hold its next Plastics in Automotive Glazing conference in Frankfurt am Main, Germany on Nov. 22-23.