Lightweight solution from
German specialty chemicals company Lanxess has been featured in FCV (fuel cell
vehicle) Clarity Fuel Cell, the latest model of hydrogen electric vehicle from
Honda Motor Co. The car was recently introduced in the market. Using Tepex,
continuous- and long-fibre reinforced thermoplastic composites with PA 6 matrix
from Lanxess subsidiary Bond-Laminates, in combination with Durethan, a PA 6
high-tech plastic grade from Lanxess, Honda has introduced the world-first
development of hybrid-moulded rear bumper beam in the model using one-shot moulding
technology enabled by Lanxess.
“It is our great honor to
feature our light weight solution with our Tepex and Durethan in Honda’s latest
model of FCV,“ said Martin Klocke, Head of Technical Marketing and Business
development Tepex Auto in the High Performance Materials business unit at Lanxess
about the project.
The worldwide automotive
industry is facing increasing restrictions on CO2 emissions and therefore
automakers actively develop zero emission vehicles such as EV (electric
vehicles) and FCV. These trends have been driving the demand for innovative
materials and new technologies to make cars lighter. Lanxess has been offering
lightweight solutions and technologies to the automotive industry which have
proven themselves in various applications worldwide. This has resulted in
developing a one-shot hybrid moulding process for making large components out
of its plastic and glass fibre composite. The result is approximately 50
percent weight reduction compared to the metal solution and a significant
streamlining of the production process.
“With this application, we not
only realised the first rear bumper beam made out of Tepex and Durethan
material, we also have the first serial automotive production in the Asia
Pacific region for our composite material Tepex,“ said Deniz Guerkan, Manager
Technical Marketing and Business Development Tepex Auto in the High Performance
Materials business unit at Lanxess Hong Kong Limited.
Expertise in lightweight design to support development of components
In the development, the materials
are uniquely composed in several layers in combination with Tepex dynalite,
continuous long glass fubre reinforced thermoplastic composite sheets, and
Tepex flowcore, random long glass fiber reinforced composite sheets. This
combination enables an easy material flow in the moulding process to fill out
complicated part geometry, and a greater mechanical strength with a superior
characteristic of dynamic energy absorption in such a critical application as a
rear bumper beam.
Through its HiAnt custom-made
services for lightweight design, Lanxess provides automakers and parts
suppliers with property testing services. Lanxess also supports the development
all the way to the mass-production. The series production of the Honda rear
bumper beam is done by Takagi Seiko Co., a leading plastic parts manufacturer
in Japan, with advanced plastic moulding technologies. Sunwa Trading, Lanxess’ distributor
for Tepex composite sheets in Japan with long experience in composites, further
assisted the development process.
Tepex – continuous fibre-reinforced thermoplastic composites
Tepex is a light yet strong
state-of-the-art composite material made from a thermoplastic matrix and
continuous fibre reinforcements such as carbon or glass. As one of Lanxess’ lightweight
solutions, it is used worldwide for automobile structural components such as
front ends and seat shells, as well as in numerous mass-produced items like
smartphones and sporting goods. Tepex boasts cycle times of around 15 to 60
seconds, has reinforcing fibres and thermoplastic base material that provides
excellent mechanical properties, and is light enough to reduce component weight
by more than 50 percent. The result for automobile applications is better gas
mileage and fewer CO2emissions. Tepex is the flagship brand of Lanxess’ wholly
owned subsidiary Bond-Laminates GmbH.
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