LANXESS’ Tepex in Lightweight Automotive Design

October 23 2017

The continuous-fiber-reinforced thermoplastic composites Tepex from LANXESS have many potential applications as inserts for the local reinforcement of injection-molded components. The composites have a material bond that increases the components’ mechanical strength. Above all, Tepex is significantly lighter. This is evident in the front ends of Volkswagen’s Atlas and Teramont SUVs, which are manufactured in the United States and China respectively. “Both front ends use Tepex inserts, which are around 50 percent lighter than comparable inserts made from steel sheets. In addition, the reinforced areas can endure much higher strain,” explains Harri Dittmar, an applications developer for Tepex.

The front ends of both SUVs are made from injection-molded polypropylene. In the area around the hood lock, they are reinforced with a thin, one-millimeter-thick piece of Tepex dynalite 104-RG600. The matrix of this semi-finished composite is made from polypropylene and contains 47 percent by volume continuous glass fiber rovings as a fabric. On both sides of the front end, the “Z struts” are reinforced with a shaped insert from the same composite material.

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