08 December 2005 17:15 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS news)--Global demand for polycarbonate (PC) in automobile glazing could reach between 100,000 and 200,000 tonne in 2014, German chemicals and healthcare group Bayer said on Thursday.
Current sales for vehicles are very limited but Bayer has achieved the technological beakthroughs required to develop polycarbonate glazing in automobiles, Bayer MaterialScience board member, Ian Paterson said.
"It's now a question of the market taking up the opportunities," the MaterialScience marketing and innovation head added at a research and development (R&D) and investor day.
Bayer projects near exponential growth potential should the market take-off. It has, however, been talking of the potential for growth for close on a decade.
Scratch resistance has been achieved for multi-layer products developed in the Exatec joint venture with General Electric, Bayer said. The glazing could find use in window and vehicle top applications.
Polycarbonate is already used in some vehicles in roof modules, fixed side windows and transparent rear body parts. Paterson said Bayer sees applications widening into back lights and rear windows in truck cabins in 2008 and 2009. Moveable side windows could be being made of polycarbonate around 2012, he predicted.
About 24% of Bayer MaterialScience's sales of Euro8.6bn (about $10bn) in 2004 came from polycarbonate. Around 16% of total sales in 2004 were made in the automotive sector.
Paterson outlined other potentially fast developing auto related business for the Bayer sub-group including coated polyurethane modules. A combination of polyurethane coatings and polycarbonate film is being developed for roof modules currently in pilot production, he said. A "soft-feel" polycarbonate film will be introduced to the market in 2006. So-called "self-healing" scratch resistant polyurethane coatings could see a compound annual growth rate of 6% over the 10 years to 2014, he said, by which time they could account for 35% of the total auto coatings market.
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