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Composites

JEC recognition for 3D woven PP

Cutting production costs in half and reducing trim waste in parts production.

17th January 2024

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Brazil

Transport/​Aerospace

An automotive door component prototype developed by polyolefins manufacturer Braskem and WEAV3D has been nominated for a JEC Composites 2024 Innovation Award in the Automotive Process category.

The WEAV3D composite lattice reinforcement made with Braskem polypropylene (PP) enables lighter and less expensive thermoplastic solutions than conventional organosheets, unlocking new opportunities for the cost-effective replacement of sheet metal structures with thermoplastics throughout a vehicle.

“We continue to be very excited to offer innovations in high-performance polypropylene materials using the WEAV3D lattice technology after launching the project in 2023,” said Amanda Zani, technology platform manager at Braskem. “As the automotive industry continues to roll out new electric vehicle designs, it requires automakers to re-think the vehicle design with new performance materials and consider more sustainable end-of-life solutions.

“The initial conversion process focus has been on thermoforming to leverage large parts production, but the WEAV3D technology can also be applied to the injection moulding of more complex parts.

“With significant improvements in lightweighting, reduced costs, and higher material efficiency, using our PP in these composite lattices provides a ‘win-win’ in terms of enhanced material performance and a more sustainable environmental impact, which can also include the integration of natural fibre options.”

Compared to a conventional composite organosheet the product reduces sheet blank weight by around 50% and final part weight by around 23%, while cutting production costs in half. The process is also more efficient, increaseing sheet yield from 25% to 45% by weight, resulting in a 62% reduction in trim waste.

“WEAV3D and Braskem are demonstrating the significant potential of the WEAV3D lattice material with this automotive door prototype and we are thrilled to be selected a finalist by the JEC Innovation Awards jury,” sais Chris Oberste, president of WEAV3D. “Thanks to the simulation workflow developed in collaboration with Altair Engineering, we were able to optimise the lattice structure for cost and performance, while still using the original organosheet tooling and forming process equipment at the Clemson University Composites Centre.”

Winners of the JEC Composites Award 2024 will be announced during an online award ceremony on February 8, 2024, between 13:30 and 15:30 CET – accessible at www.jec-world.events.

The Braskem-WEAV3D prototype part will also be on display in the JEC Innovation Planets section of JEC World, held in Paris, France from March 5-7, 2024.

www.weave3d.com

www.braskem.com.br

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