- Sheet Molding Compound (SMC) as major topic to increase collaboration
- SMC is determined by high number of interdependencies between material and processes
- Installation of 1.800 t press system at Aachen Center for integrative Lightweight Production
AZL Aachen GmbH has established a workgroup on high-performance Sheet Molding Compound (SMC). Within an initial AZL Workshop more than 60 participants from the industry, including several automotive OEMs such as Audi, BMW, Ford, Hyundai, MAN, Toyota and Volkswagen, defined research and development topics for the future AZL Workgroup.
SMC as major topic to increase collaboration
At last year’s AZL annual meeting, the AZL partner companies had indicated SMC as a major topic to increase collaboration. Following this request, AZL organized the initial Workshop, in which experts from companies, such as Plastic Omnium, BYK-Chemie, Menzolit, Polynt, Huntsman, Polytech Composites, 3M or Henkel, discussed the potential of SMC for the lightweight industry. The workshop was initiation and coordinated together with Plastic Omnium and BYK-Chemie.
Mark Zimmermann, Product Line Director of the Plastic Omnium Auto Exterior Division: “To future-proof SMC, we need performances comparable to other materials such as Aluminum as well as SMC applications suitable for class A surfaces.”
SMC is determined by high number of interdependencies between material and processes
In comparison to other materials, SMC is determined by a high number of interdependencies between material and processes which are both challenge and potential. Especially the adaption of the material formulation concerning processing and application offers great potential to improve the efficiency.
The participants defined material characterizations of various SMC types, methods for fast and reliable pre-design of components and processes, an improved bonding of reinforcing fibers to the resin matrix as well as the development of new resins as most important subjects for future research and development activities.
Installation of 1.800 t press system at Aachen Center for integrative Lightweight Production
Dr. Kai Fischer, Managing Director of AZL Aachen GmbH and Scientific Director at the Institute of Plastics Processing (IKV): “In the context of cost-effective lightweight production, SMC materials and products have been one major topic within more than three decades of research at RWTH Aachen University, especially at the IKV. The initiation of the workgroup in combination with the beginning installation of the 1.800 t press system of Schuler Pressen GmbH at the Aachen Center for integrative Lightweight Production, will be an important milestone to further improve the cost and lightweight potential of SMC.”
The newly established AZL Workgroup will meet regularly to continuously work on these topics. To start with, AZL will propose a study to benchmark available simulation software as well as a joint partner project to develop a tool box for material characterization of various SMC types. In addition, a concept to present the workgroup activities with a business platform will be presented at the next meeting.
Participants of the initial AZL workshop on “High-Performance SMC” in Aachen:
3M Deutschland GmbH, A. Schulman GmbH, Aliancys Deutschland GmbH, Ashland Performance Materi-als, AUDI AG, BASF SE, BENTELER SGL Composite Technology GmbH, BMW Group, BYK-Chemie GmbH, CANNON Deutschland GmbH, CANNON Ergos, Christian Karl Siebenwurst GmbH & Co. KG, Conbility GmbH, Connectra Global KB, Covestro Deutschland AG, Evonik Industries AG, Fagor Arrasate S. Coop., Faurecia Automotive Composites, Ford Research & Innovation Center Aachen, Gurit UK Ltd, HELM AG, Henkel AG & Co. KGaA, Huntsman, Hyundai Motor Europe Technical Center GmbH, ika at RWTH Aachen University, IKV at RWTH Aachen University, ITA at RWTH Aachen University, Mahr Metering Sys-tems GmbH, MAN Truck and Bus AG, Menzolit GmbH, Mitsubishi Rayon Europe GmbH, Mubea KG, Plas-tic Omnium Auto Components GmbH, Polynt Composites Germany GmbH, POLYTEC COMPOSITES GERMANY GMBH & Co. KG, Schmidt & Heinzmann GmbH & Co. KG, SGL TECHNOLOGIES GmbH, Toyota Motor Europe NV/SA, Volkswagen AG