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21st August 2018, Leverkusen

Advanced composites at a cost-effective scale

Maezio is the new brand name for the continuous fibre-reinforced thermoplastic composites (CFRTP) being developed and marketed by Covestro.

These materials are set to tap into the growing demand worldwide for strong and light materials that contribute to resource conservation and energy efficiency, the company says. From mobility and electronics industries to consumer goods and medical products, OEMs and part suppliers can benefit from the high performance capabilities of advanced composites, while enjoying cost-effective and scalable manufacturing solutions offered by Maezio.

The materials are set to tap into the growing demand worldwide for strong and light materials that contribute to resource conservation and energy efficiency. © Covestro

“The brand gives us a clear and strong identity to further expand our expertise in thermoplastic composites,” says David Hartmann, co-CEO of Covestro CFRTP. “We believe the brand can truly bring value to next-generation products across industries by delivering a combination of lightweight construction, specific strengths and finishes at a scale unreachable by advanced materials today.”

The composite material of the future is based on continuous carbon or glass fibres impregnated with polycarbonate, thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) or other thermoplastic resins, he adds. From these components, Covestro produces unidirectional reinforced tapes and sheets at its production site in Markt Bibart in south Germany for further processing by customers. Being strong, light and aesthetic, these components can be combined into an unlimited number of products, giving designers completely new creative opportunities.

So far, a further propagation of advanced composites has been hampered by lack of cost-effective and scalable manufacturing processes. In addition, it is difficult to integrate them into high-volume products. All of this is about to change with Maezio composites, Covestro believes.

They can be thermoformed with existing thermoforming tools at high yield rates and low cycle times. This is vital when manufacturing scales can be in the range of millions of parts per year. Other production technologies such as hybrid injection moulding, automated UD tape laying and automated fibre placement can be easily integrated.

“As thermoplastic composites, Maezio products can be recycled at the end of their useful life, making them a perfect example of what scalable and sustainable composite solutions look like in giving industries the material tools to push boundaries,” says co-CEO Michael Schmidt.

Maezio is attracting interest in such diverse segments as the electrical and electronics industry, the automotive business, household appliance manufacturers and furniture producers, medical technology, sports goods manufacturers, shoe producers and the luggage industry.

Haier, the world’s largest white goods brand, has launched a state-of-the-art air conditioner under its Casarte brand, which utilises Maezio for the main housing of the product. In the world of footwear, the composites have helped Chinese athletic wear startup Bmai to develop even lighter and stronger marathon shoes which benefit athletes and leisure runners alike.

With 2017 sales of €14.1 billion, Covestro, headquartered in Leverkusen, Germany, is among the world’s largest polymer companies. Business activities are focused on the manufacture of high-tech polymer materials and the development of new solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, construction, wood processing and furniture, and electrical and electronics industries. Other sectors include sports and leisure, cosmetics, health and the chemical industry itself. Covestro has 30 production sites worldwide and employed approximately 16,200 people at the end of 2017.

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