Thermoplastic composite materials from Lanxess, Pittsburgh, Penn., are featured in the “hybrid-molded” rear bumper beam on Honda Motor’s latest hydrogen electric vehicle, FCV “Clarity Duel Cell”, making this zero emission vehicle lighter. The materials and process used result in approximately 50% weight reduction compared to a metal counterpart and a significant streamlining of the production process.
Lanxess calls it a “hybrid-molded” part in that several materials are involved. Included are Tepex Dynalite and Flowcore sheets and Durethan nylon 6—similar to Lanxess’plastic-metal-hybrid technology where Durethan nylon 6 and metal are used. (Tepex is the flagship brand of Lanxess’ wholly-owned subsidiary Bond-Laminates.) Dynalite consists for multiple reinforcement layers made of fiber (carbon, aramid glass) coated with an engineering thermoplastic. The Flowcore range consists of long (30-50 mm) glass fibers similar to traditional glass mat thermoplastic materials, but based on engineering plastics. In optimizing design, Tepex Flowcore can be combined with Dynalite to provide stiffeners and ribs for reinforcement.
Lanxess sources explain that this is a “first” of its kind part in that it entails a “one-shot molding process” whereby the thermoforming of the Tepex thermoplastic composite sheets and the molding of ribs take place at the same time in the same tool—thus, a one-step thermoforming and injection molding process. For this rear bumper beam, the Dynalite composite sheet material is overmolded with Flowcore sheet and Durethan nylon 6 to achieve the necessary mechanical properties and functional integration. Lanxess also touts the excellent flow of the Flowcore sheet material which can fill quite complex rib geometry during the forming/molding process.
Search for more of Lanxess’ engineering resins in PT’s materials database.