Based on its recent analysis of the automotive glazing materials market, Frost & Sullivan recognizes Solutia Inc. with the 2012 North American Frost & Sullivan Award for New Product Innovation for its Saflex® S and Q series solar interlayers. These pioneering solar-absorbing products are innovative in terms of chemistry and the method employed to manufacture them. Their use provides better cabin comfort, lowers air conditioning requirements and, more importantly, provides better fuel efficiency for vehicles.
"With fuel efficiency standards intensifying across the globe and in the United States in particular, Solutia's innovative solar-absorbing product is of great significance," noted Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Shree Vidhyaa Karunanidhi. "Previous efforts to minimize cooling requirements by altering the automobile's window glazing resulted in the poor performance of electronic devices within the vehicle, because the metal products that reflect solar energy in traditional glazing materials also interfere with signal transmission. With heavy window glazing, there also existed issues with the vehicle's visible light transmission (VLT) requirements."
Solutia's Saflex S series and Q series are polyvinyl butyral (PVB) interlayers for automotive glazing applications, consisting of solar-absorbing nanoparticles in the PVB layer. The product works on an innovative solar-absorbing principle rather than on a traditional solar reflecting one, which has typically been achieved with metal-coated glass or metallic reflecting films. Since the layers contain no metallic particles, it removes the need for deletion areas to enable signals from electronic devices. The absence of deletion areas increases the glazing's effectiveness, translating into lower air conditioning requirements and, consequently, better fuel efficiency.
Additional features and benefits of the Saflex S and Q series interlayers include the safety benefits of laminated automotive glazing, such as retaining glass fragments in the event of glass breakage, and improved cabin comfort since the interlayers effectively absorb the heat-causing mid-infrared rays. They also block more than 99 percent of the ultraviolet radiation that is responsible for skin irritation in humans and fading of a vehicle's dashboard, steering wheels, leather seats, etc. Saflex S series solar-absorbing interlayers are also available in an acoustic formulation, as offered in the Saflex Q series product, which offers a two-fold benefit by blocking heat while effectively decreasing the noise that enters the vehicle through the glazing.
"Since the product can be used across various types of cars, such as gasoline- and diesel-powered, electric, and hybrid vehicles, the penetration potential of the product is immense," noted Shree Vidhyaa. "It is particularly crucial in electric vehicles to help increase the mile range of the vehicle, addressing a major concern of electric vehicle users."
With the electric vehicle market expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 50 percent between 2010 and 2017 in North America alone, the market potential for Solutia's Saflex solar interlayer product is strong. Solutia's products also increase return on investment for OEMs in terms of adherence to automotive glazing standards and fuel efficiency standards.
The products can be customized to suit the requirements of various end users and are available in various shades, including gray and green tint. The Saflex solar interlayers also come in two versions with different solar loading levels to meet the VLT requirements in most parts of the world.
In short, by reducing a vehicle's air conditioning requirements, Solutia's innovative product offers OEMs a way to reduce the fuel consumption of automobiles and meet the fuel economy standards being proposed across the world to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In recognition, Frost & Sullivan is proud to present Solutia with the 2012 North American Frost & Sullivan Award for New Product Innovation in the automotive glazing materials market.
Each year, Frost & Sullivan presents this award to the company that has developed an innovative element in a product by leveraging leading-edge technologies. The award recognizes the value-added features/benefits of the product and the increased ROI it offers customers, which increases customer acquisition and overall market penetration potential.
Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognize companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service, and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis, and extensive secondary research in order to identify best practices in the industry.
About Solutia, Inc.
Solutia (solutia.com) is a market-leading performance materials and specialty chemicals company. The company focuses on providing solutions for a better life through a range of products, including: Saflex® polyvinyl butyral interlayers for glass lamination and for photovoltaic module encapsulation and VISTASOLAR® ethylene vinyl acetate films for photovoltaic module encapsulation; LLumar®, Vista™, EnerLogic®, FormulaOne®, Gila®, V-KOOL®, Huper Optik®, IQue™, Sun-X™ and Nanolux™ aftermarket performance films for automotive and architectural applications; XIR® and Heat Mirror® performance films that are incorporated into aftermarket window films, laminated glass products and suspended insulated glass units for use in automotive and architectural applications. Flexvue™ advanced film component solutions for solar and electronic technologies; and technical specialties products, including Crystex® insoluble sulfur, Santoflex® PPD antidegradants, Therminol® heat transfer fluids and Skydrol® aviation hydraulic fluids. Solutia's businesses are world leaders in each of their market segments. With its headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, the company operates globally with approximately 3,400 employees in more than 50 worldwide locations.
About Frost & Sullivan
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