Browse Publications Technical Papers 2020-01-0634

Advancements in Thermoplastic Optical Materials for Automotive Lighting Systems 2020-01-0634

Optical materials strongly influence the performance and efficiency of automotive lighting systems. In particular, LED signature headlight design motifs such as dispersion optics and light pipes comprise long optical path lengths, which require homogeneous color distribution and light extraction with minimal attenuation. Unfortunately, conventional thermoplastic optical materials are not suitable for long path length (LPL) applications, as they often lack sufficient light transmission, absorption coefficient and/or heat resistance for LPL optics. In this presentation, we will demonstrate strategies to maximize performance and efficiency of automotive lighting systems, using new acrylic resins optimized for LPL optics. Through practical examples, we will show how strategic improvements to absorption coefficient and spectral uniformity significantly reduce light attenuation, while increasing power efficiency and color uniformity in LPL optics. Additionally, we will outline thermal and physical material properties relevant to the design, engineering, and manufacturing of thermoplastic LPL optics. Finally, we will discuss the importance of outdoor stability, UV-weathering resistance, and chemical resistance for maintaining efficient long-term performance, and in the case of signature lighting, preserving the vehicle brand identity imparted by the design.


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