Fibrenamics Embraces the Edge of Automotive Innovation with Lighting and Heating Solutions
Fibrenamics, a research center affiliated with the University of Minho, is at the forefront of automotive innovation with the LH4Auto project. This project, developed in partnership with Simoldes Plásticos, Stellantis and 2C2T, has reached an important milestone by creating automotive components with heating and lighting properties by implementing electroluminescent inks and state-of-the-art conductive materials. This innovative approach brings several advantages over traditional technologies, most notably a homogeneous and flexibly implemented distribution of light and heat.
A major achievement of the project centers on the development of electroluminescent inks, which stand out for their simplified application, surpassing alternatives such as OLED. This enables their use on curved surfaces - previously a technical challenge. This new approach expands the possibilities for design and development, opening up room for creativity and innovation in the industry.
Another pioneering feature of this project is the heat distribution in automotive components. The use of this heating technology allows uniform heat distribution to the components, ensuring thermal comfort for the vehicle's occupants. This innovative approach is a significant milestone in the automotive market, offering efficient solutions for heating components, enabling new value propositions for the market.
Sustainability and the reduction of the ecological footprint are also priorities of the project, since both the electroluminescent paints and the conductive materials with heating properties used in this project have reduced levels of thickness, translating into a significant reduction in weight and thickness of the components. Despite the reduction, the characteristics of the components are not compromised and the vehicles equipped with this technology can enjoy efficient lighting and heating, without compromising on quality or performance, allowing car manufacturers the opportunity to develop lighter vehicles, energy efficient and more flexible design. We highlight the alignment of this project with Stellantis' "Dare Forward 2030" strategic plan that presents, among others, carbon neutrality goals until 2038.
According to Simoldes' statements, the project presents the potential to "transform any part into a lamp", and reduce the use of air conditioning, contributing to the increase of vehicular autonomy and the reduction of carbon emissions. This represents a significant advance in the automotive industry, opening up new technological possibilities and placing Portugal at the forefront of innovation in the sector.
In the future, we can expect a new generation of cars that take full advantage of the benefits of these technologies, providing a more advanced and sustainable driving experience for consumers.