At technical conferences and workshops, most presentations are in relation to new safety systems or new solutions to improve performance or design. To realise these innovations and to ensure reliability, the materials used are not so often highlighted. They are nevertheless crucial for these achievements.
So the latest DVN Report, released today, goes into broad depth about the wide range of materials used in vehicle lighting. And it’s a wider range than ever before, especially now with LEDs both exerting new requirements and loosening some old constraints. Yesterday’s systems had glass and steel. Today’s systems can easily contain PC, PMMA, PEI, PBT, PP with talc or fibre glass reinforcement, thermoset BMC, Silicone, Aluminium, Magnesium, thermal compound resins, maybe still some glass…!
All these materials are offered by a growing list of international companies covering the world as are doing their customers in the automotive world. Many of these are very big companies like Sabic, Covestro, Dow, and Mitsubishi Chemical of which automotive and particularly vehicle lighting is a small part of their activities. But there are also medium-sized companies delivering to set makers some specific parts like glass lenses, silicone primary optics, thermoplastic light guides, and venting membranes. For these companies, vehicle lighting is often an important part of their activities.
What’s more, all these material makers are participating actively in the innovation race in the world of lights with wheels under them. Some recent innovations are made possible by new materials, like optical silicone. So definitively, materials are important in lighting and will remain important perhaps with new needs for the future integration of sensors and communications systems, even as electronics and software are taking a growing part of resources and cost.
See in this week’s in-depth article a presentation of one of these companies, Optoflux, who have seen great growth thanks to the new needs in vehicle lighting. We’ve got an exclusive interview with the CEO, Thomas Luce—many DVNers remember him from his past work at Schefenacker and Valeo lighting.
And don’t forget about the DVN LiFi Congress which will be held 12–13 June in Paris.
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