Covestro develops new composite technology future lightweight construction

Covestro develops new composite technology for future lightweight construction

9:27 AM, 23rd October 2017
Covestro develops new composite technology for future lightweight construction
Dr Michael Schmidt, Co-CEO of CFRTP composites at Covestro, took the trophy at the 2017 European Plastics Innovation Awards ceremony in Brussels.

LEVERKUSEN, GERMANY: Covestro AG has developed a sophisticated composite technology that opens the door to a sustainable future for lightweight products. It is based on continuous fibre-reinforced thermoplastics (CFRTP) in combination with a highly efficient production method.

Lightweight materials are in greater demand than ever – and not just in the automotive industry. Manufacturers of electronic devices such as laptops, tablets and smartphones also want to slim down their products. The advantages are obvious: while consumers appreciate light, thin devices, manufacturers also benefit from lower shipping costs while reducing their logistics-related ecological footprint.

Pushing the boundaries

These composites are ideally suited for producing thinner, lighter and yet more robust parts for IT devices, said Dr Michael Schmidt, who, together with David Hartmann, heads the thermoplastic composites department at Covestro.

David Hartmann particularly highlights the major weight advantage: “Compared to a conventional magnesium-aluminium alloy, we achieve weight reductions of approximately 15 percent. And the A-Cover composite exhibits the same good bending and torsional rigidity as the metallic material.”

Moreover, CFRTPs meet Underwriters Laboratories' flammability standard of V-0.

Contemporary design

The composites give product designers an unprecedented degree of design freedom. For example, various combinations of resin and carbon or glass fibres can be used for optical effects. Textures can also be created, for example within the mould or by sandblasting, CNC milling and laser cutting.

The A-Cover composites come close to achieving the quality of a Class-A surface. An environmentally friendly water-based two-component finish with optimal adhesion to polycarbonate substrates provides the visual upgrade and permits individual design.

Fast and efficient production

By utilizing a “single mould manufacturing” concept, Covestro is able to combine the three conventional steps of preheating, thermoforming and functional integration into a single process. The results are twofold: substantially lower costs and shorter cycle times.

The company recently received this year's European Plastics Innovation Award for its composite “A-Cover” for next-generation laptops. The development took second place in the category “Best Lightweight Innovation.”

© Chemical Today News

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