Touch screen displays need to be readable in a variety of light conditions and hard-wearing. To allow the driver to keep their focus on the road, touch screens also need safety features built into the surface such as finger location channels or pips. Hardcoated 3D formable films can meet these requirements, providing design freedom whilst enabling seamless, stylish, and safe design.
Whether the application is a lens over an analog instrument cluster or a digital display which doesn’t require touch capability, cover lens applications are situated throughout the vehicle. The design of these parts is becoming increasingly complex, moving towards curved edges and 3D shapes. Hardcoated 3D formable film enables sleek, seamless component design allowing buttons to be integrated into surfaces and displays to be blended into other components.
IME smart surfaces
Driven by a need to reduce complexity and weight whilst increasing electronic content, automotive designers are turning to in-mold electronics (IME). The creation of circuitry on film which can be formed and injection molded allows parts to become thinner and lighter whilst incorporating smart features into the surface such as capacitive touch and secret till lit.
Combining several material technologies, ESI Automotive, enables smart surface manufacturers to create next-generation structures from one single supplier
The automotive industry is changing with several emerging trends such as electric vehicles, autonomous driving, and car sharing. So too is the in-car users’ experience as consumer expectations grow. Car interiors must, therefore, evolve fast to enable the new features required by these trends. Gone are the days of the mechanical cockpit – electronics driven Human Machine Interfaces (HMI) are at the forefront of modern design.
Consumers expect an automotive experience to equal that of the rest of their world - meaning large high-definition displays, touch screens, capacitive touch sensors, and glossy sleek surfaces are amongst the features being sought.
However, increased content in the interior is countered by a desire for reduced assembly complexity, and lighter components and systems. ESI Automotive bring together all their expertise in both automotive films and electronic materials to offer a comprehensive materials stack combined with technical support.
frequently asked questions
Chromium (or chrome) plating is applied to exterior components to improve car aesthetics. Chromium actually forms a very small (0.3 microns to be precise) part of the total coating. The majority is plated copper and nickel (in total more than 50 microns). These improve ductility and provide the 'mirror' brightness. Chromium is also applied to interior components. Read more >
Surface coatings are applied to a broad range of metal and non-metal surfaces.
These coatings have functional and decorative properties which include uses, such as:
- Improving wear and tear.
- Providing corrosion resistance.
- Decorative uses, such as improving aesthetics.
In-mold electronics are the application of conductive inks on to thin plastic films. Typically, these are hardcoated and then formed into a 3D component.
With the increasing number of displays in cars combined with the rise of electric vehicles, the use of IME is helping to reduce the weight and complexity of parts, allowing manufacturers to extend the battery range even further. Read more >
The ESI Automotive initiative helps automotive manufacturers, their supply tiers, PCB board fabricators and surface finishing applicators to meet the evolving demands of the automotive industry.
ESI Automotive have forged strong connections with automotive manufacturers all over the world. Those relationships led us to understand that the needs of the automotive industry are changing. These changes include integration of surface finishing technology, hardcoated films, advanced circuitry and joining materials. Read more>
No vehicle is complete without displays. Whether a simple cover lens or a fully integrated touch display, the ability of a display to convey information to the user in a variety of light conditions is critical. Our range of display products allows designers the freedom to create seamless, stylish and smart display solutions.
Consumer demand is pushing the need for electronic content in vehicles to a new level. The drive to reduce weight, particularly in electric vehicles, means traditional solutions are not enough. In-mold electronics (IME) is enabling designers to combine form, function and feel into a smart surface.