High-tech thermoplastics for future mobility

High-tech thermoplastics for future mobility
Specialty chemicals company LANXESS will be present in Mannheim at the VDI Congress “Plastics in Automotive Engineering” with a special focus on “High-tech thermoplastics for future mobility”. “New forms of mobility such as autonomous driving, the electrification of vehicle power trains, and new logistics concepts are important growth drivers for our polyamides, polyesters and thermoplastic composites,” explains Dr. Martin Wanders, head of global applications development in the High Performance Materials business unit. “Our current development activities focus on materials and technologies for lightweight structures as well as on heat-dissipating, flame-retardant polyamides and polyesters for thermally stressed electrical and electronic components. Another focus is set on polyamides with high thermal stability,” explains Wanders.

Hollow profiles instead of sheet metal

One highlight at the LANXESS booth is the new “Hollow Profile Hybrid Technology”. This new process- and lightweight design technology is a further development of the classic plastic metal hybrid technology for automotive mass production. Instead of sheet metal, hollow metal profiles with round or square cross-sections are used in combination with polyamide 6 injection molding. “Due to their dimensional stability, hollow profiles enable hybrid parts with significantly higher torsional stiffness and strength. There is an enormous potential for structural components such as cross car beams, which were not resilient enough using conventional hybrid technology,” says Wanders. Like the classical plastic metal hybrid technology, the new process was developed by LANXESS and is simple to realize by injection molding manufacturers. The investment for machinery and tool is low and cycle times are as short as for standard injection molding. A demonstrator part will be shown at the VDI Congress in Mannheim to illustrate the advantages of the new lightweight design technology.

Polyamide 66 consistently stable at temperatures up to 230 °C

Another hot topic at LANXESS is XTS2 thermostabilization (Extreme Temperature Stabilization). It increases the thermal stability of polyamide 66 to up to 230 °C. Wanders: “Important mechanical properties – such as tensile modulus, breaking stress or IZOD impact strength - are maintained at a high level even at constant temperatures of up to 230 °C.” Unlike many other thermostabilization options, the new system shows no stabilization gap between 160 °C and 230 °C. Target applications for XTS2 materials are in vehicles with high efficient combustion engines. The first product from the XTS2 product portfolio is a polyamide 66 reinforced with a 35 percent glass fiber reinforcement. The material will be marketed as Durethan AKV35XTS2. It is ideal for the production of components such as air intake manifolds with an integrated intercooler. Another polyamide 66 with a 30 percent glass fiber reinforcement is under development as well as reinforced polyamide 66 for blow molded hollow components such as air ducts in the engine compartment.