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Polycarbonate Reduces Mass, Increases Daylight Opening Space & Safety on Microcar Roof

SpecialChem / May 24, 2010

A striking feature debuting on the Passion coupé model of Daimler AG's 2008MY smart for two® microcar and now also available on the Brabus coupé model is a relatively large (1.2 m2/13 ft2) polycarbonate panoramic roof system that not only increases daylight opening space, helping make this tiny vehicle seem roomier, but also provides low head-impact-criteria (HIC) values for added safety. Key to the success of this feature was the use of a two-shot, injection/compression molding process and a swivel-platen-equipped injection-molding machine. The first shot injection-compression molds the glazing in high-impact, tinted polycarbonate (PC), which resists cracking during side-impact and rollover events, provides excellent optics, and weighs 40% (5.4 kg/12 lb) less than a comparable-size panel in tempered glass. A second conventional injection shot backfills the large-area frame - which holds the glazing and is bonded to the vehicle's roof - in an opaque black grade of mineral-reinforced PC/acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (PC/ABS) blend, which has been specifically formulated to match the shrinkage rate of the PC glazing.

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