New film technology that allows automotive manufacturers to hide radar sensors behind decorative metallic parts has been developed by AkzoNobel.

The radar-transparent bright film – perfected by working together with customers – means vehicle makers no longer have to worry about hiding sensors behind solid metal, which can block the signals of safety features such as anti-collision warnings.

AkzoNobel is an approved supplier of film products for this application, and the company was recently specified as a global supplier of emblems by one of the world’s biggest car brands.

“Vehicle requirements are changing all the time and we’re very happy to have solved this difficult problem with an intelligent film coating that allows radar signals to pass through,” said Patrick Bourguignon, director of AkzoNobel’s Automotive and Specialty Coatings business.

“It was a highly technical process, which involved close collaboration with customers to establish correlations between film properties and radar transmission,” he added. “On the surface, it provides an attractive, mirror-like finish. What you can’t see is the breakthrough technology we’ve developed, which allows better and more consistent transmission of signals that ultimately help people to drive more safely.”

The products supplied by the company’s Film business are mainly used by the automotive and aerospace industries, as well as for signage. They include coated films for substrate protection and decoration, and markings/decals used for safety and decoration.

“Innovation not only drives our business, it also contributes to the success of our customers,” says Bourguignon, who adds that other vehicle manufacturers are keen to include the bright film technology in their designs.

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