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5th March 2018, Paris

Sabic showcases disruptive innovation at JEC World

A leading chemical specialist Sabic is featuring several new innovations in materials and manufacturing at JEC World 2018 this week. The company is displaying its growing portfolio of continuous fibre reinforced thermoplastic composite (CFRTC) tapes; releasing the results of an externally certified life cycle analysis of a passenger car side door using this material; and previewing a fully automated, large-scale production system for composite laminates that optimises quality, speed, flexibility and cost-effectiveness.

Sabic will also be exhibiting at JEC’s Innovation Planet a new application concept for the aircraft industry with a thermoplastic composite seatback featuring a hollow channel design.

Sabic is showcasing disruptive innovation for the mass production of laminates, technical capabilities, application concepts and its new glass fibre high-density polyethylene tape. © Sabic

At its stand, Sabic is launching a new UDMAX GPE 45-70 tape, a glass-filled high-density polyethylene composite suitable of applications used in the water distribution and oil and gas sectors. Additionally, Sabic is featuring a large roll sample of UDMAX GPP 45-70 tape, with a 4,000-metre running length, along with a variety of applications using this material, including an automotive bulkhead and an industrial pressure vessel.

Adoption of thermoplastic composites

Sabic is also giving a number of presentations. At the JEC Conference on Automotive and Transportation: Materials and Processes, Dave Brands, Sabic senior application engineering specialist, and Geert-Jan Doggen, Sabic senior business manager, will speak on 8 March on Composite hybrid reinforcements in tailgates: a feasible solution for mass production. Additionally, Sabic will be presenting its new Digital Composites Manufacturing line, together with Airborne and Siemens, at the Siemens stand.

“Advanced thermoplastic composites are an emerging solution for applications that demand light weight and high strength to optimize sustainability, performance and design freedom,” said Gino Francato, Global Business Leader, Composites, Sabic. “Widespread adoption of thermoplastic composites depends on three enablers: new material technologies, efficient large-scale production processes and an accurate, scientific prediction of application performance. Sabic is investing heavily in all three areas.”

“Our growing portfolio of CFRTC offerings, our partnership with Airborne and Siemens on a digital composites large-scale production solution, and our expanding predictive engineering capabilities are three excellent examples of how we are doing this and underscore our unyielding commitment to our customers’ success.”

New UDMAX GPE tape

Sabic’s new UDMAX GPE 46-70 tape is used to reinforce industrial pipes, boilers and storage tanks, to help customers significantly increase strength performance while reducing weight. “This new material is designed for use on industrial pipes and vessels and it can deliver excellent mechanical properties,” said Hans Warmerdam, Commercial Director, Sabic FRT.

At its stand, Sabic is launching a new UDMAX GPE 45-70 tape, a glass-filled high-density polyethylene composite. © Sabic

Sabic’s UDMAX tapes are unidirectional CFRTCs that are said to offer exceptionally lightweight and high strength as a replacement solution for metal, plywood and other traditional materials. They feature a proprietary high-pressure fibre impregnation technology (HPFIT) that quickly and precisely enables the spread and combination of thousands of glass or carbon fibres with a thermoplastic matrix.

“The result is a resin-rich surface containing a high density of continuous fibres, minimal void content and fewer broken fibres,” added Joris Wismans, Technology Director, Sabic FRT.

Benefits to several industries

A superior replacement to traditional materials, CFRTC tapes can offer important benefits to many different industries, according to the manufacturer. In automotive, UDMAX GPP 45-70 tape can help OEMs and designers reduce part weight to reduce fuel consumption and emissions to comply with current and upcoming regulatory requirements.

Weight saving is also of paramount importance to the aircraft industry. In order to demonstrate the potential of advanced CFRTCs, Sabic developed a seat back constructed from CFRTC of carbon fibre and Ultem resin meeting Federal Aviation Regulation (FAR) compliance for flammability, smoke density and heat release. The prototype application – on display at the JEC Innovation Planet – features an integral, hollow channel design that delivers high strength-to-weight ratio and is lighter than aluminium.

Driving efficiency and predictability

Electronic device covers will be one of the initial focus areas for Sabic’s upcoming Digital Composites Manufacturing system for large scale production, which is slated to open in the Netherlands in 2019. Through its partnership with Airborne featuring Siemens technology to create the new system – a fully automated and digitalized production line offering high speed and efficiency – Sabic aims to lower the system costs and streamline the production of applications made from thermoplastic composites.

To support its efforts in materials and manufacturing innovation, Sabic has expanded its predictive engineering capabilities at its Center of Excellence in Geleen, The Netherlands. The goal is to establish high confidence in the predicted performance of Sabic’s materials in new applications using CFRTCs by employing tailored simulation software and proven methodologies.

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