Next step for joint carbon-fibre research is automotive industry

BASF and SGL Group announce results of its joint material research.
SGL Group and BASF announce the successful conclusion of joint material research of polyamide-carbon-fibre composite system.

The carbon company and the chemical company have concluded the joint research, of a composite material system, enhancing the cost-effectiveness of manufacturing thermoplastic carbon-fibre composites, for example in injection procedures (T-RTM: thermoplastic resin transfer moulding) and reaction injection moulding.

The composite is based on a reactive polyamide system and compatible carbon fibres. A carbon-fibre surface—or sizing—specially designed for the matrix system as well as tailored thermoplastic reactive systems mean that lightweight structural components for the automotive industry, for example, can now be manufactured quickly and easily, say the companies.

SGL Group developed a new sizing formulation for the carbon fibres together with special processes for manufacturing carbon-fibre-based textiles such as fabrics and braidings. To produce Non-Crimp-Fabrics (NCF), special threads are used that enable processing in the reactive polyamide system.

BASF processed the carbon fibres using the T-RTM technique and characterised them both chemically and mechanically. Its team is continuing to work intensively on the development of caprolactam-based thermoplastic reactive systems.

Josef R. Wünsch, head of Structural Materials and Systems Research, BASF said: "In close collaboration with plant manufacturers as well as tiers and automotive OEMs, we are working on the development of robust polyamid 6 carbon-fibre composite systems. The mechanical characteristic values arising from the interaction of the fiber and matrix are crucial input parameters for our simulation tool Ultrasim."

Thermoplastics-based carbon-fibre composites combine the properties of carbon fibres such as high rigidity and low weight with the familiar processing advantages of thermoplastics, allowing them to be formed, recycled and welded.

Visit BASF at JEC Europe Composites Show, (10 to 12 March, Paris) Hall 7.2, stand F51.

Caroline Hayes

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