Lanxess subsidiary Bond-Laminates GmbH, the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology and HBW-Gubesch Thermoforming GmbH have received an award in the Processes category at the JEC 2016 Innovation Awards for adding local tape reinforcements to thermoplastic composite sheets to improve mechanical performance, material thickness and weight.

Continuous fiber reinforced thermoplastic composites (CFRT), also referred to as composite sheets, have good potential for use in lightweight construction and are very easy to process, the companies say. They can be manufactured continuously and also have an unlimited shelf life. Conventional fabrics with a 0°/90° fiber alignment are suitable for most reinforced structures, such as components in motor vehicles, and also housings on electronic devices and athletic equipment. The balanced fabric supports a variety of applications that can reduce weight compared to metal or other plastics.

 However, for special load situations, and to improve the flow of forces, reinforcements can be integrated using multiaxial Tepex, a recent advancement at Bond-Laminates. With this method, different fiber alignments can be selected for the layers of the composite structure. The method makes designing components subject to heavy loads, such as brake pedals and seat structures, more efficient.

Reduced weight

or special applications requiring even further local reinforcement of load paths, high-performance structures can be optimized using this E-Profit approach, in which the precise number of unidirectional high-performance reinforcements, are used that correspond to a given load path. This enables the load to be improved in a similar manner to using different sheet thicknesses or reinforcements, but at reduced weight.

‘The method we developed rounds out the high-end range of our Tepex-brand performance thermoplastic composites,’ said Dirk Bonefeld, head of research and development at Bond-Laminates. ‘The partners on this research project engineered an innovative method for cleverly combining different types of semi-finished composites.’

This story uses material from Lanxess, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.