Press release

VDI conference: “PIAE 2018” – Plastics in Automotive Engineering, Mannheim

March 14, 2018
  • PLEXIGLAS® molding compounds in dark gray specials colors are ideally suited for generating the black panel effect

The automotive industry is experiencing a radical upheaval as the key megatrends of electromobility, autonomous driving, and connectivity bring about comprehensive, long-term changes to automotive design. The new technological developments effect both the exterior and interior design.

In realizing innovative ideas and new functional control elements and panels, car manufacturers place new requirements on the materials they use, such as PLEXIGLAS® - the trademarked polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) from Evonik.

The Product Line Molding Compounds of Evonik’s Performance Materials Segment will present PLEXIGLAS® in special neutral-gray colors to a broad trade audience of specialist engineers and decision-makers in the automotive and supplier industry at this year’s international "Plastics in Automotive Engineering” VDI conference, to be held on March 14 and 15 in Mannheim.

The dark gray colors of this series are particularly well suited for producing multi-functional covers with a black panel effect. Displays that make use of this effect appear as a homogeneous black panel when they are switched off but use backlighting to show display information or ambient lighting with high color precision when they are activated.

“For quite a while now we have observed a trend of merging large decorative panels and displays in cars into multi-functional panels or integrated displays. Thanks to specially colored materials, the transitions from panels to displays will become increasingly difficult to discern,” says Sven Schröbel, head of Automotive Product Management in the Methacrylates Business Line of Evonik. “The neutral gray colors of our PLEXIGLAS® molding compounds are a perfect fit for such applications.”

To illustrate the black panel effect with PLEXIGLAS®, Evonik created a suitable demonstration unit that will be on display at the industry event in Mannheim. For the first time, it also uses a new specialty color, which enables designers to create exciting effects for day-and-night ambient lighting.

From high-gloss pillar trim covers on cars to light-guiding materials in luminaires, PLEXIGLAS® molding compounds can be found in many different fields of application.

PLEXIGLAS® is a material with a long tradition for innovative products in the automotive industry. As a functional design material, PLEXIGLAS® owes its versatility to specific properties such as high transparency, good processability and durability. It is sure to continue playing a key role in automotive design with its many specialty applications.

PLEXIGLAS® in dark, neutral gray colors are perfectly suited for functional panels with a black panel effect. © Evonik

A selection of 13 step-plates made of PLEXIGLAS® in neutral gray colors. ©Evonik 

Company information
Evonik is one of the world leaders in specialty chemicals. The focus on more specialty businesses, customer-orientated innovative prowess and a trustful and performance-oriented corporate culture form the heart of Evonik’s corporate strategy. They are the lever for profitable growth and a sustained increase in the value of the company. Evonik benefits specifically from its customer proximity and leading market positions. Evonik is active in over 100 countries around the world with more than 36,000 employees. In fiscal 2017, the enterprise generated sales of €14.4 billion and an operating profit (adjusted EBITDA) of €2.36 billion.

About Performance Materials
The Performance Materials Segment is managed by Evonik Performance Materials GmbH. The segment focuses its global activities on developing and manufacturing polymer materials and intermediates, especially for use in agriculture and in the rubber and plastics industry. In 2016, the segment’s roughly 4,400 employees generated sales about €3.2 billion.

In so far as forecasts or expectations are expressed in this press release or where our statements concern the future, these forecasts, expectations or statements may involve known or unknown risks and uncertainties. Actual results or developments may vary, depending on changes in the operating environment. Neither Evonik Industries AG nor its group companies assume an obligation to update the forecasts, expectations or statements contained in this release.

Additional Information


Thomas Kern

Global Communication Molding Compounds Performance Materials