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BASF and the SGL Group will joint-ly develop a composite material based on a reactive polyamide system and suitable carbon fibers, serving the cost-effective production of thermoplastic carbon fiber-reinforced composites.
The material system is intended for use in the T-RTM process (Thermoplastic Resin Transfer Molding) as well as the reac-tive injection molding process, and permits considerably shorter processing cy-cles than conventional thermosetting RTM. The adjustment of the material sys-tem to these faster processing techniques plays a major role for the entry of light and high-strength structural components made of carbon fiber composites into automotive mass production.
As a leading producer of polyamide and caprolactam, a precursor of polyamide, BASF is contributing its competence in the development of new polymer matrix systems. The SGL Group is utilizing its material expertise along the carbon fiber value-added chain and in high-temperature processes.
"To achieve good wetting of the fiber and short cycle times in T-RTM or reactive injection molding, we start from low-viscosity highly reactive caprolactam formu-lations", explains Dr. Martin Jung, Head of Structural Materials Research and spokesman for BASF Research toward the automotive industry.
In order to attain an optimal bonding of the polyamide to the fiber, the new ma-trix systems require that a suitable carbon fiber surface treatment, the so-called finish, will be developed. Dr. Hubert Jäger, Head of Technology & Innovation, SGL Group: "It is only with a custom-formulated finish that this optimal bonding can form and the carbon fibers transmit their unique stiffness and strength properties fully to the part. On the basis of our many years of industrial experi-ence, we are able to optimize processes and materials along the entire value-added chain of carbon fiber technology for new applications."
Thermoplastic carbon fiber-reinforced composites combine the properties of carbon fibers such as high stiffness at low weight with the typical processing advantages of thermoplastics. They can be formed, recycled and welded. In this way they encourage further development of carbon fiber technology toward the goal of suitability for mass production.
BASF is the world’s leading chemical company: The Chemical Company. Its portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics, performance products and crop protection products to oil and gas. We combine economic success, social responsibility and environmental protection. Through science and innova-tion we enable our customers in almost all industries to meet the current and future needs of socie-ty. Our products and system solutions contribute to conserving resources, ensuring healthy food and nutrition and helping to improve the quality of life. We have summed up this contribution in our corporate purpose: We create chemistry for a sustainable future. BASF posted sales of about €73.5 billion in 2011 and had more than 111,000 employees as of the end of the year. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA) and Zurich (AN).
About SGL Group – The Carbon Company
SGL Group is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of carbon-based products and materials. It has a comprehensive portfolio ranging from carbon and graphite products to carbon fibers and composites. SGL Group’s core competencies are its expertise in high-temperature technology as well as its applications and engineering know-how gained over many years. These competencies enable the Company to make full use of its broad material base. SGL Group’s carbon-based materials combine several unique properties such as very good electrical and thermal conductivity, heat and corrosion resistance as well as high mechanical strength combined with low weight. Due to industrialization in the growth regions of Asia and Latin America and increased substitution of traditional with innovative materials, there is a growing
demand for SGL Group’s high-performance materials and products. Products from SGL Group are used predominantly in the steel, aluminum, automotive and chemical industries as well as in the semiconductor, solar and LED sectors and in lithium-ion batteries. Carbon-based materials and products are also being used increasingly in the wind power, aerospace and defense industries.
With 47 production sites in Europe, North America and Asia as well as a service network covering more than 100 countries, SGL Group is a company with a global presence. In 2011, the Company’s workforce of around 6,500 employees generated sales of €1,540 million. The Company’s head office is located in Wiesbaden.
More information: www.basf.com - www.sglgroup.com