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Lanxess to present lightweight solutions at VDI show

Jul '20
Pic: Lanxess
Pic: Lanxess
Specialty chemicals company Lanxess will showcase lightweight solutions based on its Tepex-branded continuous-fibre-reinforced thermoplastic composites for brake pedals as well as structural components of the vehicle body and high-voltage battery at the VDI Congress - Plastics in Automotive Engineering - to be held virtually due to the Corona pandemic.

The event is being held during July 28-29.

“Among other things, we will present lightweight solutions based on our Tepex-branded continuous-fibre-reinforced thermoplastic composites for brake pedals as well as structural components of the vehicle body and high-voltage battery,” says Thomas Malek, business development manager for Tepex Automotive in the High Performance Materials (HPM) business unit at Lanxess. “We will also be concentrating on blow-moldable and injection-moldable polyamide compounds for tanks and hollow parts for the air management of turbocharged engines.”

A highlight of Lanxess’s presentation will be the tank of a BMW Motorrad road machine, which is made from Durethan BC550Z 900116 DUSXBL. The unreinforced and impact-resistant modified polyamide 6 is injection-molded into two half-shells, which are welded to the tank by means of hot plate welding. Thanks to this material, the engines can be manufactured cost-effectively in large quantities despite their complex geometries. The limit values for fuel emissions through the tank walls are undershot by a considerable margin.

The potential of Tepex-branded composite materials for use in lightweight applications will be demonstrated on several exhibits – for example, on an all-plastic brake pedal developed for a battery-electric sports car. The composite component is around 50 per cent lighter than an equivalent steel construction. It meets all load requirements thanks to the tailor-made fibre layer construction of the Tepex insert and local reinforcement using additional tapes.

Another example of systematic lightweight design using Tepex is an A-pillar with a 3D hybrid design that Porsche has developed for vehicles such as convertibles and roadsters and is employing for the first time in the Porsche 911 convertible. The A-pillars with hybrid inserts are just as stable in the event of a crash as previous designs featuring high-strength steel tubes but they reduce the weight of the vehicle body by a total of around five kilograms.

Tepex also has enormous potential to be applied in structural components and housing parts for high-voltage batteries in electric vehicles. This is due to its inherently outstanding flame-retardant properties that it displays even without flame-retardant additives. Not only do the composite materials present a lightweight alternative to aluminium, but they also enable cost-effective component solutions thanks to the cost-reducing integration of functions and simple processing without the need for rework in the hybrid molding method.

In addition to the powertrains of electric vehicles, there is also enormous potential for technical thermoplastics from Lanxess in the electric mobility charging infrastructure. The Durethan polyamides and Pocan polybutylene terephthalates are mainly used for components of charging plugs, sockets, and stations as well as wallboxes in garages and carports, for example. The materials are also used in components in inductive wireless charging systems for high-voltage batteries.

“We have a broad range of compounds that feature a high level of dimensional stability and surface quality especially for charging plugs. They are also impact-resistant and therefore mechanically robust,” says Christopher Höfs, project manager in the HPM e-Powertrain team. “In addition, our plastics are characterised by outstanding flame-retardant properties and good electrical characteristics such as high creepage current resistance.”

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (SV)

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