Continuous fiber-reinforced thermoplastic resin instead of traditional metal-based materials can be said to be the hottest technology that the current automotive lightweight field pays attention to. Judging from the K2013 exhibition, no less than 10 companies exhibited solutions for this technology. The seat shell made of TEPEXdynalite102-RG600(2)/47%-1.0mm from Bond-Laminates Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of LANXESS, is made of thermoplastic composite material reinforced with continuous-length glass fibers. This kind of seat shell has extremely high rigidity and strength, and can absorb a large amount of energy in the event of a collision, thus greatly improving safety.
Dr. Christian Obermann, General Manager of Bond-Laminates, said: “The weight of the new product is about 800g lighter than the previous product, and its performance can easily outperform products of the same structure made of steel plate and long glass fiber reinforced plastic.” Automotive lightweighting process The technology hotspots and hindrances in LANXESS expects that the demand for TEPEX-based composite products will increase. Obermann said: “We have found that there is also huge application potential in other automotive structural components that require excellent load capacity, such as brake pedals, airbag housings, front and rear seat structures, front-end carriers, and underbody protection components. . So we are now expanding the TEPEX industrial production capacity of our Brilon production plant.”
Owens Corning, the world’s largest manufacturer of glass-reinforced fiber and composite engineering materials, took the opportunity of the 2014 Chinaplas to launch its upcoming PerforMax designed for long-fiber-reinforced thermoplastic polypropylene (LFTPP) to be introduced to the Chinese market. Series SE4849Type30 direct yarn, suitable for polypropylene resin long glass fiber granulation, continuous fiber melt impregnation, in-line long glass fiber reinforced thermoplastic and continuous fiber reinforced thermoplastic sheet. SE4849 realizes faster composite production line speed, improves efficiency and increases glass fiber load. Continuous fiber reinforcement has not only attracted much attention in raw material companies, but also equipment manufacturers have also paid close attention to this technology. **Injection technology providers Arburg, Engel, KraussMaffei, extrusion technology manufacturers BREYER, Milacron extrusion, Reifenh? user, pressure forming technology provider Diffenbacher, and inspection technology provider IsraVision all exhibited solutions for this technology at K2013. Undoubtedly, continuous fiber reinforcement technology, including other long fiber reinforcement technologies, has become an important direction for high performance and lightweight. But at the same time, the high price of high-quality materials has undoubtedly increased the cost of lightweighting. The shortcomings of local independent brands in sales and R&D funds have made modified plastics used in automotive applications to be loved by car companies. Hate it again.
Faced with increasingly stringent automobile fuel consumption regulations, major car companies are looking for a variety of ways to reduce fuel consumption, including reducing body weight. Through the increase in the amount of modified plastics used in automobiles, the weight of the car body can be reduced, and the purpose of reducing fuel consumption can be achieved. In Europe, the amount of modified plastics used in automobiles has become an important indicator to measure the level of automobile design and manufacturing. According to statistics, 1kg of modified plastics can replace 2-3kg of denser materials such as steel, and the weight of the automobile decreases by 10% every time. , Fuel consumption can be reduced by 6%-8%. On the premise of ensuring the overall performance of the car, increasing the use of plastic materials can effectively reduce the weight of the vehicle, reduce vehicle emissions, improve fuel economy, and reduce vehicle manufacturing costs. The world’s largest automobile plastic bicycle consumption is Germany, which accounts for 15% of the total material consumption. According to the European level in 2005, the average bicycle consumption has reached 13%. However, China’s current bicycle plastic consumption is still higher than the level of developed countries. There is a big gap, and there is a great potential for improvement.
In China, major brands have begun to increase the application ratio of various lightweight materials such as alloys, super-strength steel, and engineering plastics in automotive products. At the beginning of this year, Ford announced the launch of the first F150 with a lightweight body, reducing the weight of the vehicle by 318 kg. Models such as MKX will also adopt related designs. However, compared with foreign brands, domestic self-owned brands have encountered considerable challenges on the road to lightweight. As foreign-funded material suppliers almost monopolize technology in some core components, the purchase price of independent brands remains high. Although some lightweight materials have obvious effects in reducing weight, they are expensive. For economical products, the cost of reducing the weight of the car by one kilogram is controlled within 20 yuan is an acceptable range.
At present, the price of synthetic plastics compared with local material suppliers is several thousand yuan per ton, and the average increase in cost per kilogram is several tens of yuan. The products of local material suppliers are mainly used in bumpers, fenders, wheel covers and other components. In the supply of lightweight materials for core parts such as steering knuckles and chassis suspension, they are basically supplied by foreign companies such as Bayer, BASF, and DuPont. monopoly”. For example, Bayer’s polyurethane composite materials and polycarbonate plastics can provide materials for car windows and new energy lithium batteries, while BASF’s long glass fiber materials are mainly used for engine suspensions and interior shock-resistant components. With increasingly stringent policies, self-owned brand car companies will still face severe challenges in the weak links in the automotive industry chain such as material supply and lightweight design. The sales volume and capital of self-owned brand companies have no advantages compared with foreign capital. At present, some companies represented by Chery Automobile have begun to cooperate with parts suppliers, lightweight materials suppliers and auto companies from the early stage of research and development.
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