Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Can Thin Plastic Headlights Really Work?

Engel Holding GmbH at K 2013 (which is a huge plastics and rubber trade fair in Germany) will be demonstrating how they can make a cost effective, thiner, and plastic headlamp for the automotive industry with an all electric Engel e-motion 200/110 T machine and an integrated Engel viper 12

Even though plastics have been used to replace engine components, the use for the oil based product will shortly be replacing glass parts with a competitive edge and will try to achieve plastic as manufactures first specced material. Not only can plastic be more cost effective, but it can be thinner which means less weight.

Car companies have been trying to cut weight to promote better gas mileage since governments like in the USA have applied that require all manufactures to have an average MPG of 55.4 by 2025 and American truck fleets must meet the 34.5mpg average by 2016.  Cutting weight can be one of the easiest and cheapest way to achieve those standards.

Engle Holding GmbH tends to show the exhibitors how they can produce and offer a greater scope in terms of product design.  Georg Steinbichler, head of R&D, explained the problem of making injection molded lenses for automotive use: "Lenses of a headlight have a thickness of up to 30 millimeters [about 1.2 inches], which presents new challenges for injection molders."
He then states, "We have worked on an LED collimator lens for automotive headlamps. It is a high-precision part with 15mm thickness and we've managed to achieve drastic cycle-time reduction with the application of advanced multilayer technology."

This is where I have to ask about buffering the thin lens when hundreds of miles have been put on the car. Car headlights can become dull and not clear, a term known as "fogged-up," from millions of little specs of road debris and weather that come in contact at high speeds with the front lens, or a crack has depicted and moisture may have accumulated from inside that also is phrased "fogged-up."

But I am thinking of just the "fogging" from tiny road debris's that scratch the front of the lens.  What will the outcome be of the lens after 100,000 or even 200,000 miles be, and will we be able to buff that plastic out and it still hold its rigidness?


Find the release on Polyestertime.it