New Automotive Solar Interlayer from Solutia Boosts Fuel Efficiency

Today Solutia Inc., (NYSE: SOA) the world's leading producer of polyvinyl butyral (PVB) interlayer for laminated glass, introduced the company's new Saflex(R) S series advanced solar absorbing interlayer for the global automotive glazing market.

The product is being featured this week at the company's booth at Glasstec 2010, held in Dusseldorf, Germany.

"Global environmental regulations require the automotive industry to meet more stringent CO2 emissions standards as soon as 2012," said Wing Kwang, global automotive business director in Solutia's Advanced Interlayer Division. "Combine that with the growing number of consumers interested in reducing their environmental footprint while maintaining comfort and quality, you have an industry that must look for new solutions to design more efficient vehicles. That's where Saflex S series advanced solar absorbing interlayers can help."

In addition to providing the safety benefits of laminated automotive glazing, Saflex S series advanced solar absorbing interlayer provide an effective solution for HVAC engineers to help control the interior temperature of a vehicle. Reducing the heat that is transmitted through the glazing of a vehicle can reduce the air conditioner load, which in turn improves fuel economy and reduce CO2 emissions. In fact, field evaluation by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in the U.S. shows that a 5 degree Celsius reduction in cabin temperature could increase fuel efficiency by 3%.

Saflex S series technology absorbs infrared radiation rather than reflecting it like alternative technologies. These alternate technologies often have to rely on "deletion areas" or removed sections to accommodate electronic devices such as GPS, cell phones, and electronic toll collectors. These removed sections allow electronic devices to operate properly, but can restrict where consumers can use or place electronic devices in their vehicle and could reduce the overall solar efficiency of the glazing. "Saflex S series is more compatible with electronic devices than reflective technologies thereby reducing the need for additional engineering design and added costs," said John Derrico, global product technology lead in the Advanced Interlayers Division.

In addition, Saflex S series solar absorbing interlayer provides a cost effective and high performance solution for hybrid electric and pure electric vehicle applications. By reducing cabin heat, Saflex S series provide automotive designers the opportunity to use smaller, lighter weight air conditioning systems and allow electric vehicles the ability to increase the driving range for each charge. Studies by NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory) show that reducing the air conditioning load on an electric vehicle (by using a smaller air conditioner or using it less often), drivers can extend their range between 15% and 25% under typical conditions (versus the range with a standard full air conditioning load).

Saflex S series advanced solar absorbing interlayer will be commercially available later this year. Additionally, Saflex S series, in combination with our Saflex Q series acoustic benefits, will be available in early 2011.

Source: http://www.solutia.com/

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