The solar car is built with composites from TenCate. Picture courtesy of TenCate.
The solar car is built with composites from TenCate. Picture courtesy of TenCate.
The World Solar Challenge is a competition for designing and building a car capable of crossing the continent of Australia using only sunlight as fuel.
The World Solar Challenge is a competition for designing and building a car capable of crossing the continent of Australia using only sunlight as fuel.

TenCate is supporting the student team from the University of Twente and Saxion from Enschede, The Netherlands, in making the solar car 2009 as light and strong as possible using TenCate Cetex thermoplastic skins, honeycomb core material for lightweight sandwich panels, and high tech carbon fabric and yarns.

CETEX Thermoplastic Composites

TenCate Advanced Composites’s thermoplastic reinforced laminates are available in sheet form up to 4 ft x 12 ft. Various reinforcement such as fibreglass, carbon and aramid are available in customer-specific ply orientations. Prepreg and semipreg fabrics are also available for preform moulding.

CETEX Includes:

  • PPS CETEX: CETEX PPS Polyphenylene Sulfide Thermoplastic Resin System Service Temperature 212°F (100°C) Continuous;
  • PEI CETEX: Polyetherimide Thermoplastic Resin System Service Temperature 392°F (200°C) Continuous;
  • TC1200 PEEK: CETEX Thermo-Lite TC1200 is a semi-crystalline polyetheretherketone thermoplastic composite UD tape.

The TenCate composites will be used in “virtually every structural part” of the solar car, including the frame. The Solar Team Twente says it intends to achieve a considerable reduction in weight compared with the previous solar car, and a lower air resistance of at least 25%.

TenCate composites have also been incorporated into the renewed solar panel, which can be pivoted whilst driving to optimise efficiency.

The World Solar Challenge is a competition for designing and building a car capable of crossing the continent of Australia using only sunlight as fuel.