The companies focused on improving the cost-effectiveness of manufacturing thermoplastic carbon-fiber composites in injection procedures such as thermoplastic resin transfer molding (TRTM) and reaction injection molding. 

As part of this collaborative project, SGL Group developed a new sizing formulation for the carbon fibers, while special processes for manufacturing carbon-fiber-based textiles such as fabrics and braidings were also developed. To produce non-crimp-fabrics (NCF), special threads were used to enable processing in the reactive polyamide system.

Successful collaboration

BASF's role was to process SGL Group's newly developed carbon fibers using TRTM and to characterize them both chemically and mechanically. The BASF research team is continuing to work on the development of caprolactam-based thermoplastic reactive systems.

This collaboration between SGL Group and BASF was launched in October 2012

‘In close collaboration with plant manufacturers as well as tiers and automotive OEMs, we are working on the development of robust polyamid 6 carbon-fiber composite systems,’ said Josef R. Wünsch, head of structural materials and systems research at BASF. ‘The mechanical characteristic values arising from the interaction of the fiber and matrix are crucial input parameters for our simulation tool, Ultrasim. We are currently working intensively on enhancing our simulation expertise for reactive systems so that we can provide our customers with expert support for part design and optimization.’