10th April 2017, Cologne
Lanxess, a leading German specialty chemicals company, has received a contract from German system supplier Brose Fahrzeugteile to supply the international automotive manufacturer, ElringKlinger AG, with the composite material for the door module carrier for a compact-class vehicle.
“The structural component exemplifies the tremendous potential opened up by our composite in cost-effective lightweight design. With our know-how in materials, virtual component design and simulation of the manufacturing process, we’ve made a key contribution to this successful development,” said Henrik Plaggenborg, Head of the Technical Marketing & Business Development Tepex Automotive group.
Lanxess subsidiary Bond-Laminates, which develops and manufactures Tepex continuous-fibre-reinforced thermoplastic composite semi-finished products, will be supplying ElringKlinger in Europe with the Tepex composite sheet.
The component is the result of a close partnership between Brose, ElringKlinger and Lanxess over a number of years, the manufacturer explains. According to the company, the weight has been cut by around 1.6 kg per vehicle compared with injection-moulded component designs. “With four door modules, weight savings of approximately 5 kg per vehicle are possible compared with a steel version,” said Mr Plaggenborg.
The door module carrier is produced in a hybrid moulding process using forming and back-injection of Tepex directly in the injection mould. “The one-shot process industrialised by ElringKlinger eliminates the forming tool, while also enabling cost-cutting integration of functions. These two things are the key to making the component cost-effective,” commented Harri Dittmar, project manager in the Technical Marketing and Business Development Group.
Tepex has already established itself in various series applications in structural lightweight automotive design. For example, it is used to produce front-end carriers, bumper beams, infotainment brackets, underfloor protection panelling, brake pedals, battery consoles, seat shells and seat backrests.