Thermoplastic composites represent a new class of structural parts for automotive and a new opportunity for injection and compression molders. Machinery systems are still evolving, but the latest advances in automation, speed, energy efficiency, and materials efficiency will be presented at the first-ever Thermoplastic Composites Conference for Automotive next month in Novi, Mich.
Organized by the editors of Plastics Technology and sister publications Composites Technology, High-Performance Composites, and Automotive Design and Production, this event will present 17 speakers in a day and a half of technical presentations, co-located with the amerimold 2014 expo, also sponsored by Gardner Business Media, parent of Plastics Technology. The conference will comprise four sessions on Materials and Applications, Machinery Systems, Processes, and Long-Fiber Thermoplastic Composites. Here’s a brief look at the chock-full Session I on Materials and Applications.
Two pioneers of continuous fiber reinforced thermoplastics (CFRT) will address their latest developments, while another will present a case study on replacing steel. There are also presentations on lower-melt viscosity resins, novel liquid acrylics and, proprietary thermoplastic composite prepregs and customized equipment for the manufacture of composite parts.
“TEPEX—Composite Technology for Mass Production in Automotive: Material Applications and Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) Tools” by Marcus Schaefer, technical director head of product and application development, NAFTA, Lanxess Corp., will discuss the latest commercial developments with this CFRT technology.
“Development of Low Melt Viscosities for Improved Fiber Impregrnation, Part Performance and Short Cycle Time Processes” by Hans Miltner, program manager, advanced materials, Solvay Advanced Innovation Office, will address the performance of new low-melt viscosity thermoplastics that enhance fiber impregnation and speed-up cycle times.
“Continuous Fiber Reinforced Thermoplastics: Materials, Production Methods and Converting Designs into Lightweight Components” by Tom Smith, president of TecCate Performance Materials, will offer insight on inroads made with and further potential of the company’s CFRT technology.
“Automotive Lightweighting Case Study: Replacing Steel with Thermoplastic Composites in an Automotive Seat Backframe” by Mark Minnichelli, director of technical development, BASF Performance Materials, will address the development of seat backframes produced with hybrid nylon CFRT technology.
“ELIUM Liquid Thermoplastic Resin and RTM to Make Recyclable Automotive Structural Parts” by scientist Dana Swan, Arkema Inc., will discuss novel, reactive liquid acrylics for in-situ polymerization that can be used to make thermoplastic composite parts that are 30-50% lighter in weight than their steel counterparts.
“How to Get from Injection Molding to Thermoplastic Composites: Performance, Productivity, Perfection” by Jerome Le Corvec, CEO of Aonix Advanced Materials, will present inroads made with the use of proprietary thermoplastic prepregs and customized equipment that allow for high-volume, low-cost, automated manufacturing of composite parts.