Vacuum Technology to Enable the Future of the Automotive Industry

Historically, the automotive industry has primarily utilized thin film vacuum coatings for low-e windshields, hard coatings for gears, and decorative coatings on plastic parts. The future of the automobile requires continual development of ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance System), driver information systems, and electrification of the powertrain. Therefore, there are many upcoming technologies that will require thin film vacuum coatings.

For ADAS to increase safety while driving and to move towards autonomous vehicles, there will be many sensors and optical coatings for IR and LIDAR. The driver information systems such as Heads Up Display (HUD) and full dashboard displays will utilize reflectors, cold mirror, AR, and possibly bioactive layers in addition to the standard LCD and OLED thin film technologies.

The electrification of the powertrain will require significant improvements in the energy storage capacity and charging rates of batteries. Many companies are shifting towards thin film solid state technology to achieve the desired performance. To improve driving range, all aspects of the car will be developed to reduce power consumption and weight. An electric vehicle has no waste heat from an internal combustion engine. Therefore, the cabin HVAC and windshield defrost systems must done with electricity. This will further develop low-e and TCO coatings and Positive Thermal Coefficient (PTC) heaters.

This session will focus on the current and future thin film technologies that make this possible.

Vacuum Technology to Enable the Future of the Automotive Industry Session Organizer: Ken Nauman, SCI/Bühler,