Automotive Applications

24th July 2019

As the automotive industry strives to advanced transport technology, their material engineers continue to reach out to Glassflake to provide solutions to their challenges. From creating more durable materials to prolong the lifespan of key components, through to offering reinforcement at low loading levels – reducing the density of composites, offering fuel saving weight reductions.

Within the engine bay of combustion engine driven cars and trucks, all parts must be functional across a range of operating temperatures, from starting the engine in the arctic circle to tough performance on the equator, it is key that these components continue to operate in sync. In many of these, the high aspect ratio of glassflake, with its related high surface area are crucial in maintaining dimensional stability of many parts. The high surface area controls the movement of polymer chains over the surface of the flake, allowing the materials engineer to control the coefficient of thermal expansion of many composites.

This reinforcement of composite materials by the inclusion of glassflake is also evident in a broad range of body panels. With a global effort to produce more efficient and therefore less carbon polluting transport sector, there is a drive to reduce the weight of many components to improve fuel efficiency. Automotive manufactures are turning to high performance composites to replace many parts that have traditionally been manufactured from steel and glassflake plays a key role in reinforcing these parts – ensuring that there is no loss in performance and strength.

Glassflake also plays a significant role in the aesthetics of the modern automobile, glass, or borosilicate, based effect pigments are becoming increasing prevalent on both exterior and trim panels. Compared to other substrates used for effect pigments, glassflake offers exceptional consistency both in thickness and planarity – this ensures that the colour effect is also consistent. With manufacturing advances to further reduce glassflake thickness, many new pigments can now be based on 350nm thickness glassflake substrate, offering similar aesthetics now with higher gloss levels and reduced loading levels.

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