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Composites

SGL Group launches unidirectional tapes and long-fibre-reinforced thermoplastics

The benefits of the two materials lie in their high strength and rigidity coupled with low density, according to the manufacturer.

6th October 2015

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Wiesbaden

Transport/​Aerospace, Civil Engineering, Industrial

SGL Group has started the commercialization of unidirectional tapes and the long-fibre-reinforced thermoplastics (LFRTs), in follow-up to this year’s Composites Europe trade show in Stuttgart, where the company for the first time presented LFRTs and their application, using the example of a front end.

UD tapes are composite materials based on unidirectional carbon fibres. The UD tapes can be manufactured using various thermoplastics according to customer requests. For example, a 50k carbon fibre (SIGRAFIL C T50-4.0/240-T140) developed especially for this application is used as a reinforcing fibre. Appropriate sizing of these fibres is said to ensure optimal bonding to the plastic, which leads to outstanding mechanical properties, the company reports.

The LFRT materials are long-fibre-reinforced thermoplastic granules, such as those based on polyamides (PA) or polyphthalamide (PPA). Various glass fibres are used as reinforcing fibres, customized for each customer applications. 24k fibres (SIGRAFIL C T24-4.8/240-T140) and 50k fibres (SIGRAFIL C T50-4.0/240-T140) developed especially for this application are used as carbon-fibre reinforcement.

Product innovations

The benefits of the two materials lie in their high strength and rigidity coupled with low density, according to the manufacturer. They are also said to exhibit limited creep tendencies and excellent chemical resistance.

“The new products are the ideal additions to our range of thermoplastic materials. The thermoplastics material set of SGL Group gives us the opportunity to work together with our customers in opening up new applications in the industrial field, the automotive and sports goods industries and aerospace,” said Andreas Wüllner, Head of the Composite Fibres and Materials Business Unit.

Implementation of lightweight structures

At the Composites Europe trade show, the application of the two new products has been demonstrated using the example of a front end. This component from the automotive industry was manufactured in an injection-moulding process with the aid of the LFRT materials. In this procedure, areas under significant local stress are provided with targeted reinforcement by means of UD tapes. Both materials are machined together in a single process step.

Dr Andreas Erber, responsible for thermoplastic materials at SGL Group, commented: “The combination of the different materials makes it possible to use the right structural design and the appropriate manufacturing process to implement structural elements at optimal lightweight costs.”

www.sglgroup.com

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