This windshield is quite something. Extending from the hood to the B-pillar, it measures a remarkable 1.5 meters - which amounts to more than a third of the vehicle's total length. To give such a large surface sufficient strength, Opel's engineers had to pull out all the development stops - a total of eleven patents are now pending. The outcome is nothing less than remarkable. According to the manufacturer, the Panorama GTC is just as strong as the three-door vehicle with a steel roof. One reason for so much light and space is light-stable COLO-FAST® systems from BASF Polyurethanes.
Getting into the Astra GTC with its panoramic windshield for the first time, you can't help being amazed. In places where, on other cars, the field of vision is delimited by steel and fabric, there is glass and yet more glass. Because the windshield extends from the end of the hood to well behind the heads of the front-seat passengers, you can see more of the world than in any other series-produced car - including convertibles.
Panorama windscreens of this size are simple to realize with WST technology
Driving gains a fascinating new dimension with light-stable COLO-FAST systems from BASF Polyurethanes. For decades in applications around the world, they have proven effective as a glass encapsulation material and are in use with almost all leading manufacturers of glass panes and modules. With COLO-FAST-WST (Window Spray Technology), BASF now also has an innovative system for pressureless application to glass in an open mold. This flush glazing technology is only possible with polyurethane. The result is glass and panorama roofs with impressively flush seals and glass panes. Bonded or extruded profiles, on the other hand, have considerable design drawbacks and are more susceptible to dirt. WST technology has much more going for it, such as greater design freedom, a reaction time of less than 45 seconds, reduced reworking and ultimately also lower investment costs.
Splifar in Belgium is the very first company to be granted a license by BASF for COLO-FAST® -WST technology and to invest in a production installation. Production with this light-stable PU system has been underway since the end of 2010.
Flush surfaces are the goal of COLO-FAST -WST technology - and this not only applies to the automotive industry.
After taking over window encapsulation business from Recticel in 2009, BASF promptly initiated the development of a COLO-FAST® system series in line with the latest requirements of REACH. These systems have been undergoing successful launch in Europe and Asia since the end of 2010.
The sights are now clearly set on the next projects. In the pipeline are large, complex windows (of laminated or toughened safety glass) for cars and commercial vehicles with COLO-FAST® WST technology and, for 2011, concrete plans for a windshield for a truck manufacturer.
In addition to the automotive industry, product managers at BASF have also been investigating other growth markets for COLO-FAST WST technology, including the solar industry. The possibility of producing integrated flush photovoltaic panels and solar collectors with it improves water management of the roof, i.e. prevents moisture penetration, and counteracts dirt accumulation by improving rainwater run-off. What's more, COLO-FAST protects the edges of panels and collectors from breakage during shipment and installation.
About BASF Polyurethanes
BASF is the leading supplier of Polyurethane Solutions for systems, specialties and PU basic products. With its global network of 38 polyurethane system houses and its comprehensive product and service portfolio, BASF is the preferred partner of its customers in many industries. The BASF brand "PU Solutions Elastogran" represents over 40 years of experience of the market and technology leadership for Polyurethane systems and specialty elastomers in Europe.
In the extremely service-oriented business of polyurethane systems and specialties, reliable PU experience and competence are crucial. Through its system house network, BASF provides fast local support, from technical service and sales to production and marketing during the development of customized solutions. With its world-scale plants, BASF secures its leading market position in the production of polyurethane basic products in all regions of the world.
Polyurethanes make life more comfortable, safer and more pleasant while helping to save energy sustainably. They contribute towards improved insulation of buildings and more attractive, lightweight design of cars. Producers of shoes, mattresses and household goods as well as sports equipment use the unique advantages of polyurethanes provided with the knowledge and expertise of the polyurethane experts of BASF world-wide.
BASF is the world's leading chemical company: The Chemical Company. Its portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics, performance products, and agricultural products to oil and gas. As a reliable partner BASF creates chemistry to help its customers in virtually all industries to be more successful. With its high-value products and intelligent solutions, BASF plays an important role in finding answers to global challenges such as climate protection, energy efficiency, nutrition and mobility. BASF posted sales of more than €63.9 billion in 2010 and had approximately 109,000 employees as of the end of the year.