thermoplastic composites
how to achieve lightweight volume production
why thermoplastic composites?

Thermoplastic composites are becoming increasingly popular in highly cost-driven markets. Thermoplastic composites consist of a thermoplastic matrix combined with various reinforcing materials such as short, long or continuous glass or carbon fibers. Processes for the production of thermoplastic composites include injection molding, compression molding, tape placement, winding and thermoforming.

Benefits of thermoplastic composites are:

integrated component design

Due to the usage of continuous fiber-reinforced inlays, mechanical properties can be increased significantly in comparison with purely thermoplastic compounds. The ductility of the thermoplastic resin leads to high impact resistance and damage tolerance. Hybrid thermoplastic composite parts enable high functional integration and thus a high potential for cost efficient production. The functional integration can be achieved by injection or compression molding of short fiber reinforced compounds or welding.

short cycle times and flexibility of processes

The processing of thermoplastic composites can reach cycle times of one minute and below – defined by the cooling of the thermoplastic matrix – and therefore allows for high-volume production. Flexible manufacturing cells based on state-of-the-art injection molding machines or presses are used for production. Therefore, the same equipment can be used for various parts.

automation and large-scale production

Thermoplastic composites require uncomplicated production processes as no adhesive resins or evaporations are involved. Furthermore, starting and stopping of processes is possible. This leads – in combination with quality-controlled semi-finished products – to a good reproducibility of the thermoplastic composite processes allowing for mass production of thermoplastic composite parts such as car body front ends or seat structures.

recycling opportunities

Due to the re-meltable thermoplastic matrix, thermoplastic materials can be re-used, e.g. as short fiber reinforced plastics and thus improve the life cycle analysis significantly.

Tepex, composite sheet by Lanxess
use cases
for thermoplastic composites

Airbag Housing

Short Cycle Times <60s through Injection Molding Process

AZL Partner Covestro


High impact resistance and cost-efficient mass production

AZL Partner Covestro


Construction of an ultra-thin yet robust table

products and services
your partners along the complete production chain
we jointly work on r&d projects

As AZL Partner Companies, we collaborate in workgroups and research and development projects for thermoplastic composites.

hybrid thermoplastic composites | workgroup

Meeting every six months, we work on the continuous improvement of technologies related to “Hybrid Thermoplastic Composites”. As a strong alliance, we define joint activities and generate new business by exchanging pre-competitive information between all relevant players along the value chain. The close connection to the broad research centers of the AZL network facilitates direct initialization of development projects.

Download the Workgroup Flyer here!

thermoplastic tapes – material and processing benchmark | r&d project

Within the Joint Partner Project “Thermoplastic Tapes – Material and Processing Benchmark”, seven AZL Partner Companies addressed the dependencies between tape properties, processability and resulting part properties to extend fundamental knowledge for the initialization of a tape standardization initiative within the consortium. Follow-up projects on the correlation of morphology and mechanical properties of thermoplastic FRP laminates are currently under discussion.

ultra-fast manufacturing of tailored composite blanks | r&d project

The 18-month Joint Partner Project aims to develop a machine prototype for the feasibility of a novel manufacturing principle, which should be capable of producing tailored composite blanks in high volumes at medium investment cost. The project started in June 2016 with 12 involved partner companies.

The AZL forms an international lightweight network of 9 institutes on the RWTH Aachen Campus and more than 80 companies from 21 countries involved in lightweight production. Learn more…

business platforms
your entry into mass production lightweight technologies

This business platform provides you with information on thermoplastic composites as well as established suppliers and innovative development partners along the whole value chain. We are a group of leading companies active in thermoplastic composites with a broad experience and product range.

Find more lightweight business partners at our other business platforms.

Besides our individual services, we support you with:

  • Consulting and benchmarking
  • Market and technology studies
  • Project definition and management
  • Recommendation of business contacts
  • Funding recommendations

Contact us!

get in touch with us

business platform “thermoplastic composites”

Philipp Fröhlig
Senior Project Manager
+49 241 475735 14

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