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19th September 2019, Brilon

Lanxess adds two new Tepex lines

Lanxess has commissioned two new production lines at the site of its subsidiary in Brilon. © Lanxess

Lanxess has commissioned two new production lines at the site of its subsidiary in Brilon. © Lanxess

Lanxess has commissioned two new production lines for Tepex continuous-fibre-reinforced thermoplastic composites at the site of its wholly owned subsidiary Bond-Laminates in Brilon, Germany.

Tepex is becoming increasingly popular in the automotive industry for the large-scale production of lightweight structural components such as front-end and bumper brackets, brake pedals and underbody panelling components. One recent example involved two electrically adjustable single rear seats for a variant of the Audi A8, whose seat shells are manufactured in a hybrid moulding process using the polyamide-6-based Tepex dynalite. The seat shells are around 45 per cent lighter than a comparable metal version.

“We have increased our capacity for manufacturing Tepex by around 50 per cent, and in doing so, are responding to the strong demand in the mass production of highly stressable components for lightweight vehicles and consumer electronics,” says Dr Christian Obermann, managing director of Bond-Laminates.

To accommodate the expansion from six to eight production lines, a new hall covering around 1,500 square metres was constructed. The total investment ran to the mid-single-digit millions and also comprised the installation of three cutting machines, including a new four-head waterjet cutting machine for prefabricating component cuts.

Lanxess also sees potential for Tepex to be used to produce backrests and armrests as well as seat shells for new, highly complex seating concepts in autonomous cars or for comfort seats for shuttle, VIP and family buses. Electric vehicles offer further attractive potential for Tepex.

“The spectrum of applications ranges from brackets for frontends, doors and bumpers, luggage compartment recesses, battery housings and brackets for electrical and electronics modules through to structural components in the ‘greenhouse’ section and structural trims in the underbody area to protect the battery,” says Henrik Plaggenborg, head of Tepex Automotive at Lanxess.

Typical applications of Tepex in consumer electronics include the thin-walled yet exceptionally strong and rigid structural components for cellphones, tablets, laptops and TVs – components that also have to meet strict aesthetic requirements regarding design and haptics. In the sports sector, Tepex is also used in the manufacture of shoe soles, bicycle components, ski boots, body protectors and helmets.

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