Teijin Limited has developed the world’s first pillar-less automotive front window molded from polycarbonate (PC) resin. The window be seen on the Tommykaira ZZ, a sporty electric vehicle (EV) produced by GLM Co., Ltd., an EV manufacturer launched by Kyoto University.
PC resins are prohibited from use in the front windows of automobiles due to automotive safety standards. Teijin’s PC-resin window, however, thanks to its high resistance to abrasion and weather, meets new Japanese standards that will become effective in July, paving the way for its use in the Tommykaira ZZ. GLM expects to acquire street-ready certification for the Tommykaira ZZ fitted with Teijin’s PC-resin window, and then will offer the window as an option by autumn 2017.
Teijin also will market its PC-resin window for automakers in the U.S. and the EU, where demands for properties equivalent to new standards for safety and security are increasing. Teijin is leveraging its lightweight, strong, high-performance materials and integrated composite technologies as one of the key focuses of the transformation strategies for the group’s medium-term management plan, under which the company aims to become a multi-material components supplier that works closely with automakers to develop various applications for lightweight automotive bodies.
Teijin, by thickening the perimeter of its PC-resin window, has managed to eliminate the need for the A-pillar, or vertical support that divides the windshield and front window. As a result, the transparent PC resin achieves unobstructed sight lines for safer driving and more enjoyable sightseeing. The integrated PC-resin pillar-less window also is 36% lighter in weight than a conventional front window with an A-pillar.