Commercial Vehicle

Covestro CV Solutions



Polymers govern the automotive industry followed by various metals and alloys. Be it the bumper, headlights, mirrors on the exteriors, or the dashboard, instrument clusters in the interiors. Covestro India Pvt. Ltd, (Covestro India) is claimed to lead the space with its range of high-tech polymers. The company offers a wide range of polyuretha­ne and polycarbon­ate-based raw materials for the CV industry among other industries. Divakar Gokhale, Head of Mobility,

Indian Subcontine­nt at Covestro India Pvt. Ltd. in an exclusive conversati­on mentioned, “As the classic automotive industry develops further it will define the future needs of such material technologi­es for such special applicatio­ns.” “Our experts in this product stream are always willing to get into a discussion with the industry players,” he stated.


Covestro India co-develops the solution with the OEMs or ODM depending on their wish list and concepts. They provide tailor-made solutions coming from its broad product portfolio

of Polycarbon­ate (PC) and PC blends, together with speciality films and coatings that allow for diverse applicatio­ns. Every innovation comes with a huge R&D cost but needs to be offered at an affordable price, quipped Gokhale. He explained, how with the premium experience, multi- functional­ity, and efficiency improvemen­t that the company brings to the table, the lowered costs are directly linked to the input materials. Covestro India is also linked across the value chain with some cutting-edge technology providers who can help bring many new ideas to life for its customers.

Makrolon® PC and Makrofol® films are used in touch-panel technology, for example. The applicatio­n necessitat­es high purity, clarity, dimensiona­l stability, scratch resistance, and a few other features. Such applicatio­ns for CV interiors are easily possible with electronic integratio­n. Digitalisa­tion has taken over analogue systems for over a decade now. Infotainme­nt systems are a testimony to this evolution. The erstwhile transistor units have made room for sophistica­ted aircraft like cockpits with dials and levers giving way to new alternativ­es. Notably, these displays are made of polycarbon­ate where Covestro AG excels. At the right price points, the opportunit­y to tap the CV segment is huge.


A dashboard, which hosts a couple of things like the Infotainme­nt system, AC vents, cluster meter, are generally made up of foam and PolyVinyl Chloride (PVC). OEMs and tier1 suppliers are turning innovative in their concepts and designs. They are offering a spectrum of features across the board to cater to different CV segments. “At Covestro India, we demonstrat­ed innovation by utilising our unique Makroblend® product for backlight applicatio­ns utilising natural materials such as leather, wood, and stone. The dashboard design has changed substantia­lly as a result of the emobility and autonomous vehicle trends,” explained Gokhale. He drew attention to leading internatio­nal OEMs incorporat­ing long/large displays, and signalling change by futuristic shifts from old analogue metres to digital metres. Also, OEMs are now

replacing convention­al ORVMs with screens and cameras. All of this has resulted in changes to the dashboard’s design and appearance, he opined.

The next generation of CVs are beginning to draw parallels with passenger vehicles. Recent launches are testimony to softtouch buttons making inroads into the dash and onto the steering wheel. This comes as a shift from the erstwhile use of thermoplas­tic polyuretha­ne. When tailored for injection Desmopan® Thermoplas­tic PolyUretha­ne (TPU) grades offer a fast developmen­t cycle, high mechanical values and advanced processing. Desmopan TPU has a very soft feel as well as good abrasion resistance according to Gokhale. No additional coating is required. Makrolofl® PC films are used for haptic touch applicatio­ns. These can be backlit, opaque/translucen­t coloured, and have a matt or gloss finish, depending on the design. A coating process can also be used to achieve a soft touch.


Indians are obsessed with a chrome finish which is synonymous with premium in this market. Especially on headl amps, brake lights, and weather trims etc. Covestro India offers special Bayblend® grades.

The BayblendT4­5PG for such chrome finish applicatio­ns is deemed apt. Covestro has also developed a 2k/3k moulding with an In-Mould Decoration (IMD) for premium applicatio­ns and some sensor-based functional­ity integratio­n. Head lights and tail lights made of glass previously are also known to have shifted to polycarbon­ate. The latter is known to oxidise with wear and tear and further turns yellow. The Covestro Bayflex® for example is used to manufactur­e OEM applicatio­ns (factory fitted) on passing the mandatory internatio­nal safety standards. Only after the required test and qualificat­ions, these are commercial­ly rolled out.

Aware of AMECA approvals for lighting applicatio­ns and ARAI approval for India necessary for new CVs and associated systems, in India, Covestro is working on a host of products. A few decades ago, the automotive industry replaced metallic bumpers with ThermoPlas­tic Olefin elastomers (TPO). This was done keeping pedestrian safety in mind in the year 2017 since TPO is made up of softer materials. The Government of India banned any kind of metal crash guard or bull bar on vehicles and made fibre bumpers a mandate. Similarly, other automotive ancillarie­s such as reinforced chassis etc. are other examples moving towards the use of alternativ­e materials .

Covestro has had a good second quarter (Q2FY2022). In the first nine months of 2021, APAC sales accounted for Euro 1700 mn in a growth of 61.3 per cent over the same period last year as per the company’s Q32021 statement. At an investor conference in 2021, the company hinted at planning an investment of Euro one billion on circular economy projects over a 10-year timeline. CVs are expected to contribute to the revenues significan­tly, concluded Gokhale. The new Group structure that is known to have come into effect since July 01, 2021, has reorganise­d the organisati­on with Polyuretha­nes, Polycarbon­ates, and Coatings, Adhesives specialiti­es formed as new entities. The objective is to cater to specific customer needs and markets with an eye on both profitabil­ity and sustainabi­lity. Notably, the 15.4 per cent growth in PolyCarbon­ates, in Q2FY22 over the same period last year is attributed to the overall growth in the automotive and transporta­tion industry signalling a sign of things to come from the global parent and its Indian arm.

 ?? ??
 ?? ?? Divakar Gokhale, Head of Mobility, Indian Subcontine­nt at Covestro India Pvt. Ltd.
Divakar Gokhale, Head of Mobility, Indian Subcontine­nt at Covestro India Pvt. Ltd.
 ?? ??
 ?? ??
 ?? ??
 ?? ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India