Covestro: Thermoplastic Composites Investment
Covestro is further developing its products and capabilities in continuous fiber reinforced thermoplastic (CFRTP) composites in response to market trends and growing demand.
Its Maezio brand CFRTP composite is based on continuous carbon fibers impregnated with a thermoplastic such as polycarbonate. Now, the Leverkusen laboratory in Germany is commissioning a new tape production line to develop new products with different fiber and resin combinations. In turn, their production will be expanded and commercialized at the production site in Markt Bibart, Germany.
“We are seeing a strong demand for thin, light and aesthetically competitive products, with thermoplastic composites like Maezio working,” said Lisa Ketelsen, head of the thermal plastics composites business at Covestro. “In order to meet the growing demand for applications, we need a broader product portfolio, as well as different matrix materials and properties. The combination of new tape lines and our large-scale production lines will enable us to quickly iterate and expand according to market demand. ”
New thermoplastic composites under development
One such product under development is based on thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) CFRTP, which has excellent chemical resistance and excellent flexibility over a wide temperature range.
“The thermoplastic composites can significantly increase the production speed of mass production and eliminate the need for many secondary processes by characterizing and producing into near-net shapes,” says Dr.-Ing. Cliffs Wilms, Co-Technology Head of Thermoplastic Composites Business. “In addition, they are inherently recyclable, making them the real answer to the growing demand for scalable and sustainable materials solutions.”
Improve the ability of processing technology
At the same time, Covestro has invested in new hybrid injection molding machines at CFRTP plants in Germany and China to enhance complex 3D composite parts processing technology and support application development in various industries. Hybrid injection molding machines combine thermoforming and in-mold injection molding of semi-finished composite parts – a fully automated one-step process that reduces production time and increases the productivity of mass-produced composite parts.
“We are working closely with our mechanical and processing partners such as Krauss Maffei and Engel to provide full support for our customers’ product development processes,” said Dr.-Ing. Olaf Zoellner, Head of European Application Development, Covestro Polycarbonate Business Unit. “The full functionality and support value chain with large-scale production of composite part technology is critical to bringing these solutions to the mainstream market.”