Effective June 2015, certain quarter windows made of plastic are exempted from a previous regulation that set stringent requirements in terms of scratch resistance that necessitated application of a protective coating. This recent amendment of the ECE R43 standard should deliver opportunities for acrylic resin according to supplier Evonik and offer designers exciting new creative scope.
Evonik states that its Plexiglas is an ideal material for these panels because the highly transparent PMMA material offers the highest surface hardness of all thermoplastics, even without coating. At the same time, the small quarter windows offer a host of design options for curved lines and striking edges that cannot be realized with glass: "Plexiglas can be injection molded into almost any imaginable 3D shape," says Uwe Löffler, director Business Development Automotive at Acrylic Polymers in the Evonik Performance Materials Segment. "Panels can be produced with built-in wind deflectors and sharp angles. And the panels can be wraparound," Löffler adds.