K2019: Lanxess adds on two production lines for composite material

K2019: Lanxess adds on two production lines for composite material

At its site in Brilon, Germany, Bond-Laminates GmbH – a wholly owned subsidiary of German specialty chemicals company Lanxess – has commissioned two new production lines for Tepex continuous fibere-reinforced thermoplastic composites, from six to eight lines. The company has increased capacity by around 50%, to meet demand in the mass production of highly stressable components for lightweight vehicles and consumer electronics, it said.

Dr. Christian Obermann, Managing Director of Bond-Laminates, said that a new hall covering around 1,500 sq m has been constructed. “The total investment ran to the mid single-digit millions and also comprised three cutting machines, including a new four-head waterjet cutting machine for prefabricating component cuts,” he adds.

Tepex is becoming increasingly popular in the automotive industry for the large-scale production of lightweight structural components such as frontend and bumper brackets, brake pedals and underbody paneling components. One recent example involved two electrically adjustable single rear seats for a variant of the Audi A8, whose seat shells are manufactured in a hybrid moulding process using the polyamide-6-based Tepex dynalite. The seat shells are around 45 percent lighter than a comparable metal version.

Lanxess also sees potential for Tepex to be used to produce backrests and armrests as well as seat shells for new, highly complex seating concepts in autonomous cars or for comfort seats for shuttle, VIP and family buses. Electric vehicles offer further attractive potential for Tepex.

“The spectrum of applications ranges from brackets for frontends, doors and bumpers, luggage compartment recesses, battery housings and brackets for electrical and electronics modules through to structural components in the “greenhouse” section and structural trims in the underbody area to protect the battery,” says Henrik Plaggenborg, head of Tepex Automotive at Lanxess.

Typical applications of Tepex in consumer electronics include the thin-wall yet strong and rigid structural components for cellphones, tablets, laptops and TVs – components that also have to meet strict aesthetic requirements regarding design and haptics. In the sports sector, Tepex is used for example in the manufacture of shoe soles, bicycle components, ski boots, body protectors and helmets.


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