Degussa, a global market leader in specialty chemicals including cosmetics and personal care materials, has its system in place to enhance innovation transfer opportunities in the automotive industry.
Automotive, transportation and machinery is Degussa’s third-largest final customer market, and the trend reportedly is upward. Eleven of the of the company’s 20 business units work for the automobile sector, which accounts for €1.3 billion of Degussa’s current total sales (2005) of €11.8 billion worldwide. The key areas of the company’s automobile business are the fields of: coatings, designing with polymers, bonding, reinforcement and refinement and interfacial technology.
An Automotive Industry Team (AIT) researches and analyzes current trends and requirements of the auto industry and initiates the dialogue essential for innovation transfer. With the solutions achieved as a result, cars become safer, better-looking, and more environmentally friendly and economical.
Examples of applications in the automotive industry may offer insight into applications for personal care:
A novel silane compound makes polymer molecules and filler particles more effective. Only about 100 grams of this so-called organosilane is needed per tire, reports the company. The result is 20 percent less rolling resistance for truck tires. The new carbon black types are marketed under the tradename Ecorax.”
A magnesium hybrid called Tego Magnan foams molten aluminum in the die Matting agent for pleasant “car feel” With so-called soft-feel matting agents (Acematt 3200 and Acematt 3300), Degussa reports it opens up completely new design options for interior designers. These materials reportedly make it possible to coat plastic surfaces, giving them a finish from completely matte to satin glossy. Specific areas of application are dashboards, doors and other interior paneling.
Requirements imposed on lubricants for engines and transmissions are higher protection against wear, better temperature behavior and low sludge formation. These requirements can be satisfied by additives. With its Viscoplex product, Degussa has improved these special additives in their natural properties. As a result, the engine and transmission claim to run more efficiently, reducing both fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.
Degussa supplies many polymers for automobile interiors and engine compartments. For example, back-lit Plexiglas scattering films, which are said to provide for uniform light scattering and high transmission. Interior cover pieces made of the material are highly transparent, colorless, and feature high surface hardness. Films made of Degussa's polyamide Vestamid are equally highly transparent, in addition to being resistant to chemicals and impact. They can be decorated by means of the most sophisticated processes and are suitable for protecting and upgrading surfaces such as dashboards, trim sills, or car body attachments.
Scratch resistance, weathering resistance, resistance to fuel or solvents, environmental compatibility and, particularly, brilliant gloss are the criteria that today's automobile coatings must satisfy. Degussa methacrylates are optimally suited as monomers for both pigment-containing primer and for clear coats. They are, to some extent, the actual coating designers.