Rhodia Engineering Plastics, a member of the Solvay group, launched few days ago Evolite by Technyl which has been recently endorsed through partnerships and co-innovation projects to develop automotive and marine applications.
The focus of the Lightweight Hybrid Composite Structures (LYCOS) project is the continuing search for the light-weighting of functional structures in the automotive industry. As part of the LYCOS project Rhodia is partnering again with Faurecia to design and develop metal-replacing seat cushion structural components this time using Evolite™ thermoplastic composites. Lightening even further the weight of automotive seating adds to the overall reduction of an automobiles’ weight thereby positively contributing to the ever stringent CO2 emissions regulations worldwide.
"Co-innovation projects compress R&D schedules and represent a significant step towards the introduction of advanced polyamide thermoplastic composite materials as a competitive alternative to steel for automotive structural parts and applications," said Dr. Thierry Renault, Manager of Partnerships & Expertise Network of Faurecia Automotive Seating.
Rhodia is partnering with the Finot Group to develop a lightweight and environmentally-friendly 4.3m sailing boat known as the “Albatros” with a hull manufactured using Evolite thermoplastic composite. The hull consists of three-parts which are thermoformed - a clean, quick and environmentally friendly process undertaken by SORA Composites. The three parts are bonded together which produces a hull which is light yet structurally rigid, has high impact resistance and is recyclable.
“This project draws attention to the versatility of Evolite™ and the variety of potential end-use marine applications where the balance between lightweight, strength and impact resistance is absolutely essential. In addition, it is cost-competitive, provides shorter cycle times and importantly, has recycling potential,” comments Jean-Marie Finot, General Manager of the Finot Group.
These examples demonstrate Rhodia's collaborative engagement with OEMs, Tier 1s and major players to develop thermoplastic composite end-use applications. “We are involved in several other partnerships aimed at creating a sustainable value chain to allow large scale production,” explained Jean-Marc Feuillas, Composites Project Director at Rhodia. “To reach this objective, establishing strategic alliances is critical to achieve essential building blocks such as next generation predictive simulation tools and competitive recycling processes.”
Evolite by Technyl is a PA-based matrix, a result of Rhodia’s technological savoir-faire and is an extension to the highly successful range of Technyl polyamide specialty compounds. Available in recyclable matrix, pre-impregnated fabric, unidirectional tapes and consolidated plates made of glass or carbon continuous fibres, Evolite is suitable for a variety of existing manufacturing processes and applications.
Evolite a game-changing thermoplastic composite light-weighting solution