SGL Group and BASF develop polyamide-carbon-fiber composite system

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  • Carbon-fiber material system based on reactive polyamide developed
  • Transfer into specific applications for the automotive industry as next step
  • SGL Group and BASF at #JECEurope2015

SGL Group and BASF have concluded the joint research of a new composite material system. The system aims at enhancing the cost-effectiveness of manufacturing thermoplastic carbon-fiber composites, for example in injection procedures (T-RTM: thermoplastic resin transfer molding) and reaction injection molding. The composite is based on a reactive polyamide system and compatible carbon fibers. A carbon-fiber 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 can now be manufactured quickly and in a cost-efficient way.

New sizing formulation for carbon fibers

As part of this project, SGL Group developed a new sizing formulation for the carbon fibers. In addition, special processes for manufacturing carbon-fiber-based textiles such as fabrics and braidings were also developed. To produce Non-Crimp-Fabrics (NCF), special threads are used that enable processing in the reactive polyamide system. BASF’s role in this project was to process SGL Group’s newly developed carbon fibers using the T-RTM process. BASF is continuing to work intensively on the development of caprolactam-based thermoplastic reactive systems.

Special material properties

Thermoplastics-based carbon-fiber composites combine the properties of carbon fibers such as high rigidity and low weight with the familiar processing advantages of thermoplastics, allowing them to be formed, recycled and welded. This helps make carbon fiber technology an even more viable proposition for large-scale production in a number of different applications.

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