Press release
June 23, 2010

Weighty stuff: the new lightweight design studio at Evonik Industries

  • Evonik opens lightweight design studio in Darmstadt
  • Showroom with practical applications

Evonik is now presenting its expertise in lightweight design applications for various sectors of industry in a specially equipped lightweight design studio at Kirschenallee, Darmstadt, the headquarters of Evonik Röhm GmbH. "The new lightweight design studio sends out a clear signal that we intend to achieve further growth in the promising market for lightweight components made from PLEXIGLAS®, ROHACELL® and VESTAMID®," explained Gregor Hetzke, President of the Performance Polymers Business Unit of Evonik Industries. "The development of lightweight components is a core element of our innovation initiative," Hetzke underlined.

The background to this development is that lightweight design components help offer important solutions to the energy and resource efficiency challenges faced by many different branches of industry. The Evonik lightweight design studio in Darmstadt therefore presents specific applications from the automotive industry, the aircraft and aerospace industry, solar technology and architecture.

Among other items, the studio currently features three vehicles in which components made from PLEXIGLAS®, ROHACELL® rigid foam and the high-performance polymer VESTAMID® reduce the weight of cars and thus make a major contribution to cutting fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. The exhibited Lotus Exige sports car, for example, has side windows made of PLEXIGLAS®, a tailgate-mounted wing made of a ROHACELL® composite, and the charge cooler pipe in the engine is not made of metal but of a specially developed grade of the high-performance polymer VESTAMID® HT plus. Together with other lightweight components made from Evonik materials, this made it possible to substantially reduce the weight of the sports car. The same applies to the exhibited non-transparent components made from PLEXIGLAS® molding compound for the car body and interior trim.
The black roof of an Opel Corsa test car, for instance, is made from the specially developed molding compound PLEXIGLAS® CoolTouch®. It is lighter than a comparable steel roof and in addition, thanks to its IR-reflecting effect, PLEXIGLAS® CoolTouch® reduces heat buildup inside the vehicle and thus reduces the strain on the air conditioning unit. In the field of aerospace technology, a payload fairing of a carrier rocket is on display with a ROHACELL® rigid foam core that ensures low weight combined with maximum stability. The studio will soon be completed by the world’s largest lightweight solar module featuring a highly transparent cover made from PLEXIGLAS®.

"The lightweight design studio is designed to illustrate our solutions for industry and to create an even better foundation for future projects with our partners and customers," explains Rudolf Blass, Manager of the industry segment Automotive & Surface Design in the Acrylic Polymers Business Line.


The Performance Polymers Business Unit of Evonik Industries is a worldwide manufacturer of PMMA products sold under the PLEXIGLAS® trademark on the European, Asian, African and Australian continents and under the trademark ACRYLITE® in the Americas.

About Evonik

Evonik Industries is the creative industrial group from Germany. In our core business of specialty chemicals, we are a global leader. In addition, Evonik is an expert in power generation from hard coal and renewable energies, and one of the largest private residential real estate companies in Germany. Our company’s performance is shaped by creativity, specialization, continuous self-renewal, and reliability.

Evonik is active in over 100 countries around the world. In its fiscal year 2009 about 39,000 employees generated sales of about €13.1 billion and an operating profit (EBITDA) of about €2.0 billion.


In so far as forecasts or expectations are expressed in this press release or where our statements concern the future, these forecasts, expectations or statements may involve known or unknown risks and uncertainties. Actual results or developments may vary, depending on changes in the operating environment. Neither Evonik Industries AG nor its group companies assume an obligation to update the forecasts, expectations or statements contained in this release.