At this year's Fakuma, Lanxess is presenting a broad spectrum of innovations for the fields of automotive engineering, household appliances, IT technology and sport. "There will be a particular focus on the opportunities that continuous fiber-reinforced thermoplastic high-performance composites offer in the design of exceptionally strong lightweight components. We will also be exhibiting new polyester materials for LED components," explained Dr. Tim Arping, head of Marketing for the EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) region in the Lanxess High Performance Materials (HPM) business unit.
Infotainment carrier in series productionThe highlight of the exhibition is an infotainment carrier for the Audi A6. Manufactured using hybrid technology, it is made from the continuous fiber-reinforced polyamide composite Tepex with a Durethan polyamide as the overmolding material. The series component weighs just over half as much as a comparable version made of steel. It is manufactured without any reworking in a cost-effective one-shot process.
Ultra-thin wall technology with excellent surface qualityAnother topic at the event will be highly reinforced polyamides and polybutylene terephthalates (PBT) for the lightweight design of structural components that are subject to heavy loads. For example, Lanxess will be exhibiting the new grade Durethan BKV 60 XF, a material tailor-made for ultra-thin wall technology. Compared to Durethan BKV 60 H2.0 EF DUS060, which has become established in series production and is also reinforced with 60 percent glass fibers, the flow properties of this polyamide 6 are around a third better. This material can be used to produce wall thicknesses of less than one millimeter. It exhibits excellent surface qualities too. Also new is a polyamide 6 that will be marketed in the future under the name Durethan BG 60 X XF. This very stiff and strong material features very isotropic shrinkage, produces components with little distortion and is particularly suitable for thin-walled, extremely stiff back covers for tablet PCs.
Alternative to polypropyleneDurethan B 24 CM H2.0 (previously Durethan TP 173-007) is a material innovation for lightweight components manufactured using DLFT (Direct Long Fiber Thermoplastics) compression molding. Customer testing showed that, compared to conventional long-fiber compression molding compounds based on polyamide 6, this material exhibits much better flow properties and releases no smoke gases at extrusion temperatures of 280°C to 300°C. "Due to its heat resistance, too, it offers an alternative to polypropylene in this process," said Arping.
Polyamide and PBT compounds for exterior body partsPolyamide and PBT compounds offer great potential as materials for body panel parts such as bumpers, sills, door handles, spoilers and mirror housings. Pocan B 5220 XF is a new material for fuel caps, for example. This polyester is suitable for CDC and online coating, and exhibits exceptional dimensional stability and accuracy. The non-reinforced material Pocan TP 406-001 is ideal for radiator grilles. The PC+PBT blend exhibits very even shrinkage and low warpage. “It is designed for components with Class A surfaces that will be given a high-gloss coating,” continued Arping.
New PBT compounds for LEDsLED lighting technology opens up good growth potential for PBT in fields such as the manufacture of housings, cooling elements, connectors and reflectors. Lanxess already offers a broad portfolio for these applications. "For example, our range includes materials with exceptionally high light reflection of around 95 percent at wave lengths of approximately 450 nanometers that is barely affected by extreme temperatures," said Arping. The exhibits displayed by Lanxess at Fakuma will include prototypes of LED chips made of one of these materials.