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Covestro to show eco-friendly smart surfaces made from its PC
Source:Adsale Plastics Network    Editor:JK    Date:29.Dec.2021

Covestro and TactoTek will be showcasing possibilities of smart surfaces with a new, jointly developed demonstration device, the Nighthawk demonstrator with integrated display, at CES in 2022. TactoTek is a leading company of in-mold structural electronics (IMSE) solutions, a key component of which are the polycarbonate resin and films that give them their structure.


In addition to the Nighthawk, Covestro will showcase the BatRay overhead control console. These demonstrators are designed to show various in-home and in-car use cases that are not only innovative, but are more eco-friendly because they reduce the number of parts to fulfill a use case, reduce plastics use by up to 70% and CO2 emissions by up to 35% relative to conventional electronics.


In both units, electronics for wiring and touch controls are printed using clean, additive processes, and electronic components are surface mounted on polycarbonate film, which, along with a decorative film is inserted into an injection mold for encapsulation in polycarbonate resin. The result is a single piece, seamless, electronic structure, IMSE.



The Nighthawk demonstrator with integrated display which utilizes Makrolon resin and Makrofol films from Covestro.

These functional and decorative surfaces include in-mold illumination, and touch controls. The Nighthawk includes a display added after the injection molding process; the BatRay includes a printed Bluetooth antenna. This allows designers to seamlessly blend control surfaces with decor in cars, kitchens, bathrooms and industrial workspaces. Now any surface can be a smart surface.


The high clarity, low viscosity and thermal conductivity of Makrolon polycarbonate resins are important to making these devices possible, while Makrofol polycarbonate films provide UV and scratch resistance.


"Devices which utilize IMSE solutions are not only thinner, but also 50-70% lighter than those traditional devices, which reduces the carbon footprint of those devices during manufacturing, transportation and use," introduced John Skabardonis, Technical Marketing Manager at Covestro. "IMSE parts have passed the demanding requirements of the automotive industry opening the door to rapid adoption in other markets."


"Structures aren't going away, so there's great benefit to integrating the electronic features users want within those structures and simplifying the overall assembly, turning them into smart surfaces," says Jussi Harvela, CEO at TactoTek. "IMSE solutions enable differentiated designs, are easily integrated into both familiar and unconventional locations."



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