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

products and services
your partners along the complete production chain
r&d
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!

dates
meet us
0
FEB

Joint Analysis of Business Cases “Product Cost Benchmarking”

The AZL founded the new format “Product Cost Benchmarking – Joint Business Case Analysis”. In the inaugural meeting we will discuss and define new topics and review previous “AZL Business Cases”. The participation is exclusively for AZL partners and as an integral part of the AZL partnership free of charge.

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MAR - 5 MAR

JEC World 2020, Paris

Meet us at the largest composites show in the world that covers the whole composites value chain from raw material to processors and final products. In cooperation with JEC Group, AZL, its Partner Institutes as well as Partner Companies are presenting innovative technologies in composite production as well as SMC. Visit us at the AZL Industry 4.0 Hub – Hall 5A, Booth L101.

0
MAR

5th Workgroup Meeting “Composites in Buildings & Infrastructure”

The upcoming meeting will focus on function integrated sandwich structures and other high margin applications like street furniture and sports stadiums. The participation is exclusively for AZL partners and as an integral part of the AZL partnership free of charge.

0
APR

9th Workgroup Meeting “Advanced Thermoset Production”

Since 2014, AZL Partner Companies have closely worked together in the established AZL Workgroup “Advanced Thermoset Production, formerly called “High-Speed RTM Matrices”. The participation is exclusively for AZL partners and as an integral part of the AZL partnership free of charge.

0
APR

10th Workgroup Meeting “Composite Pipes and Vessels”

Due to the last presentation and the continuing growth of interest in pressure vessels, the next meeting will focus on the differences in thermoset and thermoplastic materials and processing technologies in regard to pressure tanks. The participation is exclusively for AZL partners and as an integral part of the AZL partnership free of charge.

0
APR

10th Workgroup Meeting “Hybrid Thermoplastic Composites”

The Workgroup works on the consolidation of the high-potential overmolding technology of thermoplastic FRP inlays for series production with partners of industry and RWTH Aachen University since 2013. The Workgroup so far has initiated 5 Joint Partner Projects. Due to the discussions in the previous meeting, the next meeting will focus on recycling and renewable materials. The AZL will therefore invite experts active in the market segments. The participation is exclusively for AZL partners and as an integral part of the AZL partnership free of charge.

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APR

AZL OPEN DAY – Lightweight in Aachen 2020

The AZL invites interested companies to join the AZL Open Day and take part in guided tours to the lightweight institutes of the RWTH Aachen Campus, which present their technologies and equipment along the entire value chain. Interested participants will have the possibility to see the machinery halls of the institutes and the Production Engineering Cluster, where AZL provides large-scale equipment and co-working spaces for partner companies.

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MAY

9th Workgroup Meeting “High-Performance SMC”

The AZL Workgroup on HP SMC is addressing three work packages: Material Characterization, Design Guideline as well as Standards and Norms. For the next meeting the AZL will prepare a project offer and invite interested companies to participate in the project. The participation is exclusively for AZL partners and as an integral part of the AZL partnership free of charge.

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JUNE - 25 JUNE

AZL Annual Partner Meeting 2020

Each year more than 100 representatives of the more than 80 Partner Companies from 20 different countries come together for a strategic and networking meeting to define topics and activities for the coming year. Take part and use the opportunity for networking with international decision makers and colleagues in the lightweight and composite sector.

0
AUG

Joint Analysis of Business Cases “Product Cost Benchmarking”

The AZL founded the new format “Product Cost Benchmarking – Joint Business Case Analysis”. The information regarding the content of the meeting will follow soon. The participation is exclusively for AZL partners and as an integral part of the AZL partnership free of charge.

0
SEP

6th Workgroup Meeting “Composites in Buildings & Infrastructure”

The information regarding the content of the meeting will follow soon. The participation is exclusively for AZL partners and as an integral part of the AZL partnership free of charge.

0
OCT

11th Workgroup Meeting “Hybrid Thermoplastic Composites”

The Workgroup works on the consolidation of the high-potential overmolding technology of thermoplastic FRP inlays for series production with partners of industry and RWTH Aachen University since 2013. The Workgroup so far has initiated 5 Joint Partner Projects. The information regarding the content of the meeting will follow soon. The participation is exclusively for AZL partners and as an integral part of the AZL partnership free of charge.

0
NOV

10th Workgroup Meeting “Advanced Thermoset Production”

Since 2014, AZL Partner Companies have closely worked together in the established AZL Workgroup “Advanced Thermoset Production, formerly called “High-Speed RTM Matrices”. The information regarding the content of the meeting will follow soon. The participation is exclusively for AZL partners and as an integral part of the AZL partnership free of charge.

0
NOV

10th Workgroup Meeting “High-Performance SMC”

The AZL Workgroup on HP SMC is addressing three work packages: Material Characterization, Design Guideline as well as Standards and Norms. The information regarding the content of the meeting will follow soon. The participation is exclusively for AZL partners and as an integral part of the AZL partnership free of charge.

0
DEC

11th Workgroup Meeting “Composite Pipes and Vessels”

The information regarding the content of the meeting will follow soon. The participation is exclusively for AZL partners and as an integral part of the AZL partnership free of charge.

contact
get in touch with us

business platform “thermoplastic composites”

Marina Biller
Business Platform Manager
+49 (0) 241 475735 12
info@lightweight-partners.com

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