If you own a car, then you should know that polycarbonate has made a name for itself in the automotive industry, especially for one of the most critical stages in the manufacturing process, automotive glazing. However, it is changing as acrylic plastic has grown in demand among automotive manufacturers for their glazing purposes. While acrylic has been used in various car applications such as ambient lighting and door entry strips, it is in the glazing department where the material's potential can be seen. This article highlights why acrylic is the ideal material for automotive glazing.
Highly Scratch-Resistant -- One thing that car buyer look for in a vehicle's glazing is its ability to resist scratches. While acrylic offers the highest scratch resistance levels of any thermoplastic, being used as a glazing material demands that certain strict conditions be fulfilled. For this reason, coating the surface is imperative. However, since the material is already scratch resistant even without coating, a single surface coat is enough to achieve the desired results. The advantage with the property is that a single coat lowers coating costs, unlike low scratch resistance thermoplastics that requires high-cost second coating.
Eco-friendly -- The automotive industry has come a long way in so far as caring for the environment is concerned. Since manufacturers are always on the lookout for strategies that will help them meet environmental CSR goals, acrylic glass offers such an opportunity. Due to its lightweight, Plexiglas as a glazing material reduces the overall weight of a vehicle considerably. Reduced weight allows cars to consume less fuel thereby making such cars friendlier to the environment.
Better Optical Clarity -- When manufactured over a certain thickness, acrylic glass offers the best optical property than all other thermoplastics including glass. That is not to say that polycarbonate plastic cannot be made to achieve such level of clarity. The thickness is what matters in this case because a thin polycarbonate will be more transparent, but very brittle. If made thicker, other polycarbonates become cloudy thereby losing the desired clarity. However, acrylic glass can be manufactured to the required thinness for maximum clarity without compromising on strength, which makes it the ideal material for automotive glazing.
Design Possibilities -- To stay on top of the competition and meet customer needs, car manufacturers need to come up with different car designs that appeal to their target market. It includes changing the shape of a vehicle's windscreen as well as windows. Other thermoplastics such as polycarbonates are restrictive due to their rigid properties. However, the same cannot be said for acrylic glass because the material can be easily bent into shape. For this reason, Plexiglas has become a favourite with car manufacturers. Acrylic glass offers endless design possibilities.
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11 February 2018
Factories are amongst our most underrated buildings, but they not only have a style and design sense all of their own--they also hold important clues to the history of the areas they're in, and each one can tell a fascinating story. In this blog I'll be highlighting some of my favourite factories around the world to discuss their architecture, what they produce, their history and what they tell us about their local areas and communities. I'll also be getting into the nitty-gritty from time to time, as it turns out that the inside world of industry is more riveting than you might imagine!