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Opel's new family SUV, the Crossland X.
Opel's new family SUV, the Crossland X.
Photo: 12

The curved Hella taillights on Opel's Crossland X SUV is made of a customized PLEXIGLAS molding compound from Evonik.

The brand-new Crossland X from Opel aims to combine "the properties of a cool SUV with the elegance and functionality of a sedan", according to Mark Adams, the company's European Vice President for Design.

"Our new Crossover unites these two strengths in a way that is unsurpassed, while still offering a great deal of interior space despite its compact size." The result is a "cool family car, perfect for young families."

Crossland X is the first model of Opel to sport a newly developed LED taillight made by lighting specialist Hella. The taillights act as an interface between the trunk lid and roof lines, making the brand's signature double-curve motif clearly visible along both components.

The double-curve motif is the dominant design element of the LED taillight recently developed by Hella: when lit, its arrow-like shape is a uniform red, but even when the lights are off, the curved lines are still easy to see. The effect is the result of light guides made from a newly modified PLEXIGLAS polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) from Evonik.

"This application was the first time that we combined light-diffusing additives with the signal color red," said Jörg Stricker, Head of Global Key Accounts Automotive at Evonik. "PLEXIGLAS 8N 3V219 disperses light more evenly than other molding compounds, making it even better for use with LEDs."

LED, while popular in the automotive industry for their energy efficiency, place considerable demands on light-diffusing taillight covers. "LEDs emit a powerful point light, and that quickly leads to undesired differences in brightness known as hotspots," Stricker pointed out. "So the material used for covering them has to do a good job of diffusing light."

This customized PLEXIGLAS specialty molding compound allows taillight covers to be installed more closely to the LEDs without resulting in hotspots. "It means the taillight as a whole can be much flatter and, as a result, take up less space in the body of the car," explained Ludger Rembeck, who heads up taillight development at Hella. "That provides a really practical benefit for the driver: bigger trunks."

The newly modified molding compound also makes the red of the light guide look even more intense. "It makes the signature double-curve motif even easier to see during the day," Rembeck observed.

"PLEXIGLAS starts out completely colorless, so it can be colored to any signal color you need," said Martin Mohrmann, Senior Technical Marketing Manager at Evonik for automotive products. "It doesn't alter optical properties like excellent light transmission or diffusion either."

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