continuous fibre-reinforced high-performance Tepex composites from Lanxess
subsidiary Bond-Laminates are finding new applications in the area of
automotive bodywork, says a company report. One example is the use of a variant
of Tepex dynalite to provide engine compartment protection in the Mini John
Cooper Works GP.
extreme strength and toughness of our material work very much in its favour.
These characteristics make the underbody protection, prone as it is to stone
hits and even grounding on poor roads, more robust and extremely resistant to
impact,” says Harri Dittmar, lightweight design expert at Bond-Laminates. In
addition, the regular alignment of the composite’s continuous glass fibres
lends the component an attractive carbon-like appearance.
protector is manufactured using a compression moulding procedure that combines
flow and forming processes. This involves compounding polypropylene with
continuous glass fibre rovings and forming the component directly from the
resulting DLFT mass (DLFT = Direct Long Fibre Thermoplastic) in a compression
is so special about the production process is the fact that two Tepex dynalite
outer layers are also compressed at the same time so as to reinforce the
specific area subjected to the greatest stress. This produces a sandwich
component with a DLFT core and part of its surface made from the
to a solely polypropylene-based DLFT component, the outer skins made from our
material give the part three times the strength and energy absorption,” Dittmar
says. The Tepex dynalite 104-RG 601 consists of a polypropylene matrix embedded
with a fabric containing 47 percent by volume continuous glass fibre rovings.
believes there is immense scope for using Tepex dynalite as underbody
protection in cars – especially in vehicles destined for countries with poor
roads that therefore require extra protection. “Sandwich DLFT solutions can be
up to 50 percent lighter than steel and 20 percent lighter than aluminum
protection. Thermoplastic sandwich composites also provide more effective sound
insulation from stone hits – in other words they demonstrate superior acoustic
properties too,” Dittmar adds.