New high heat polycarbonate (PC) copolymers perform brilliantly in new high-heat headlamp applications, delivering outstanding thermal and color stability, excellent metallization performance and high gloss. Hella, a leading Tier 1 auto lighting supplier, has selected SABIC Innovative Plastics’ Lexan* XHT resins to create a metallized headlamp bezel and a clear, ice blue-tinted bezel for two major European car manufacturers. Lexan XHT copolymers also provide easy processing and greater design flexibility, enabling creation of distinctive lighting and directly meet the need for ultra-high-performance materials to create colored/transparent and metallized headlamp bezels, as well as other cosmetic parts. “Temperatures in automotive lighting applications keep climbing and many traditional materials simply can’t handle the heat,” said Hella company spokesman Dr. Markus Richter. “SABIC Innovative Plastics’ Lexan XHT resins are a clear solution. They are ideal for bezels, reflectors and other cosmetic parts that must maintain their appearance and stability under harsh, high-temperature conditions and give us the choice of transparency for tinted components or direct metallization for a highly reflective look. In either case, the new Lexan XHT technology is essential to our success in creating new lighting designs.” “We have made a strategic investment in ultra-high-performance materials such as Lexan XHT copolymers in anticipation of increasing automotive application demands,” said Jim Wilson, global product marketing director, SABIC Innovative Plastics. “These materials have thrown open the door to new lighting designs while reducing system costs through enhanced processing and higher quality vs. competitive products. Our collaboration with Hella is driving design innovation to new levels to meet the demands of today’s savvy consumers.”
These copolymers provide dimensional stability under the high temperature demands of today’s forward lighting designs and high-intensity halogen, xenon and light emitting diode (LED) bulbs. Compared to traditional PC and other materials, these copolymers can handle continuous use in temperatures over 170C in metallized applications. These new transparent resins can be custom tinted for sophisticated looks and retain their color stability over the lifetime of the vehicle. Or, they can be metallized for a high-gloss, high-reflective appearance. Because of their excellent polymer-metal adhesion performance, Lexan XHT resins can be direct-metallized, avoiding the need for a coating application on the part. They have excellent resistance to humidity and deliver a high-quality metallized surface finish without bubbles or blisters.