Plastics News reported this week from the ChinaPlas tradeshow that the Japanese resin manufacturer Teijin "views full polycarbonate auto glazing as a long-term proposition" Truer words have never been spoken. I first wrote about the potential for polycarbonate glazings over 3-1/2 years ago. Prior to that post, I had worked with a client in the area a couple of years before that, and that client was already well established with a pilot plant for manufacturing, meaning that they were already a couple more years into the arena. That means we are already 8 years into the game and it is still a "long-term proposition" looking forward.
I am quite surprised, as I would have thought that the latest upgrade in mileage requirements would have really helped out the changeover. Plastic is 33% lighter than the glass it replaces, but more than that, it allows for some incredible design options. Hyundai's concept car, the Qarmaq, hints at what is possible. C-shaped windows like that are just not possible with glass. I'm no designer (look at the layout of this blog if you need proof), but what can be done with this new material could easily revolutionize automotive design in ways that few people can imagine.
And so we wait.