In the automotive industry, reducing the weight of vehicles has become a strategic issue: less weight means less fuel consumption and less emission of greenhouse gases. Plastic glazing replacing glass will reduce from 40 to 60% the weight of the glazing function. The centre of gravity will be located lowered, which will be favourable to the vehicle's handling. Plastic glazing solutions’ users will then gain weight reduction, fuel consumption reduction but also design freedom and function integration. Currently, these developments come up against the sensitivity of the material (mainly polycarbonate) to UV and scratch. To improve the abrasion resistance of the plastic glazing material, a range of lacquers and coating technologies have been developed but the solutions require thermal curing and are mostly diluted to a minimum height of 60 to 70% with organic solvents.
The project’s objective was to develop on a pilot scale an innovative solution for automotive plastics glazing, comprising an acrylic transparent nanostructured substrate of improved durability, as cast sheets of large dimensions, and an organic-inorganic varnish solvent, deformable once applied to the planar part before thermoforming, scratch/ abrasion resistant, cured under UV light at room temperature in a single step, in short cycle times. Using of this same varnish will then be extended to other parts such as hubcaps.