LANXESS expands Tepex flowcore composite range
Technology

LANXESS expands Tepex flowcore composite range

Thermoplastic composites for the compression molding process

  • By ICN Bureau | March 22, 2022

With Tepex, LANXESS is one of the leading manufacturers of fiber-reinforced thermoplastic composites for lightweight and highly mechanically resilient structural components.

The specialty chemicals company offers a composite range called Tepex flowcore for numerous variations of the compression molding process. This product line has now been expanded and optimized.

The new composites are designed as alternatives to thermoset sheet molding compounds (SMCs). Offering similar mechanical performance, they are much more ductile and, as thermoplastic systems, much easier to recycle than SMCs. They are easy to process because they are molded and shaped by thermal means only.

“We are targeting Tepex flowcore primarily at large underbody paneling components and load compartment wells for cars, but also at components such as large casings and battery covers,” says Sabrina Anders, Project Manager for Tepex flowcore at LANXESS High Performance Materials business unit.

Tepex flowcore has already proved its worth in series production, such as in a bumper beam for a mid-size sedan from a Japanese car manufacturer.

The new plate-shaped composites are offered with a matrix based on polypropylene, polyamide 6, polyamide 12, thermoplastic polyurethane or flame-retardant polycarbonate. The matrix is reinforced with long fibers rather than the continuous fibers found in Tepex dynalite. These are up to 50 millimeters long and distributed throughout the matrix as cut fibers of constant lengths. Tepex flowcore is offered with either glass- or carbon-fiber reinforcement.

The new composites are extremely versatile in terms of how they can be processed. For example, they can be compression-molded with standard tools for long-fiber- or glass-mat-reinforced thermoplastics (LFTs and GMTs, respectively). They can also be used with existing SMC systems and tools. “They have such good flow characteristics that delicate areas of components, such as ribbed structures, can be reproduced with great precision, and walls can be made very thin,” says Anders.

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