Covestro and TactoTek® To Debut New Smart Surfaces at CES 2022
Makrolon® Resin and Makrofol® Films Combine to Enable Functional, Sustainable and Decorative Materials That Integrate Controls, Electronics, and Displays Into Injection Molded 3D Structures.
Covestro, a leading polymer company, returns to CES in 2022 with TactoTek®, showcasing the endless possibilities of smart surfaces with a new, jointly developed demonstration device, the Nighthawk demonstrator with integrated display. TactoTek® is a pioneer 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®.
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 unique thermal conductivity of Makrolon® polycarbonate resins are key to making these devices possible, while Makrofol® polycarbonate films provide UV and scratch resistance. Reducing the complexity of the material stack of any device increases the potential for efficient separation and recycling. Covestro brings over 65 years of polycarbonate manufacturing experience to bear in helping to bring these new, innovative, and more sustainable solutions to the world.
“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,” says 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. Moreover, both cosmetics and functions of IMSE parts can be modified without tooling changes supporting efficient localization and low cost product upgrades”
“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, moreover, they are a significant step toward a more sustainable future.”
To learn more how your company can integrate next-generation electronics into almost any surface, read the smart surfaces case study.
About Covestro LLC:
Covestro LLC is one of the leading producers of high-performance polymers in North America and is part of the global Covestro business, which is among the world’s largest polymer companies with 2020 sales of EUR 10.7 billion. Business activities are focused on the manufacture of high-tech polymer materials and the development of innovative, sustainable solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. In doing so, Covestro is fully committed to the circular economy. The main segments served are the automotive, construction, wood processing and furniture, electrical and electronics and healthcare industries. Other sectors include sports and leisure, cosmetics and the chemical industry itself. Covestro has 50 production sites worldwide and employed approximately 18,000 people as of June of 2021.
Find more information at www.covestro.us
This news release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Covestro AG. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Covestro’s public reports which are available at www.covestro.com. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.
Makrolon® and Makrofol® are registered trademarks of Covestro Group.
IMSE® is a registered trademark of TactoTek Oy.
Bluetooth® is registered trademark of Bluetooth Sig, Inc.
Pictured above is the Nighthawk demonstrator, which utilize Makrolon® resin and Makrofol® films from Covestro.
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