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BASF presents innovative composite applications

News International-French

4 Mar 2016

At the "JEC World Composites Show", BASF will be presenting innovative solutions for composite applications made of polyurethanes, epoxy resins and thermoplastics.

This trade fair is considered one of the world's most important exhibitions for specialty materials.

From an award-winning demonstrator to mass production: Composite materials for serial production with different technologies
For lightweight construction in automotive engineering, BASF is showing various examples of current and future technologies with composite materials based on polyurethane systems and thermoplastics. The technology demonstrator for mountain bike handlebars illustrates how complex hollow components in automated high-volume series can be produced at competitive costs.

Jointly developed by KTM Technologies, H2K Minerals, Teufelberger Composite, and BASF, it won the prize in the RTM category for this year’s JEC World Innovation Award. Known as “Cavus” the project gives an integrative view of the entire process chain. The demonstrator was produced in the HP RTM (high-pressure resin transfer molding) process with BASF’s polyurethane reactive resin Elastolit® R. This compact reactive resin has a wide processing window at short demolding times as well as outstanding mechanical properties including very good fatigue strength and high damage tolerance.

Thermoplastic composite materials with glass fiber or carbon fiber-reinforced tapes are a key element of Ultracom®, the integrated system from BASF for continuous fiber-reinforced components in car body and chassis. In addition to semi-finished products and overmolding compounds, the system also offers customers support from the concept phase via component design to simulation and processing including parts testing in order to enable efficient serial production. With thermoplastic unidirectional tapes component strengths can be adjusted in targeted ways to reduce weight even more while achieving higher quality and greater production efficiency. This is illustrated by a number of demonstrators at the stand.

Already a serial part: the roof module with a honeycomb sandwich structure made in a single processing step with the polyurethane foam system Elastoflex® E. The roof module in the standard model of the new smart fortwo consists of a paper honeycomb core and two glass fiber mats that have been impregnated in a spray process with low-density, thermally activated Elastoflex® E 3532 and pressed with a solid-color class A film.

Wind power
BASF expands portfolio of PU pultrusion systems
Pultruded parts manufactured from Elastocoat® C have proved themselves in terms of fiber-matrix adhesion and dynamic properties. In addition, the pulling forces required in production have now been significantly reduced in order to allow high pultrusion speeds.

Furthermore, a system with low viscosity is now available for the production of carbon fiber pultruded parts with a high fiber content.
Together with Fiberline Composites A/S in Denmark, BASF had already demonstrated the high performance level of PU pultrusion systems for components in the construction of rotor blades for wind turbines. Thick-walled profiles to integrate threaded bushings in the root section of the blade are made of Elastocoat® C.

Epoxy resin systems and PET (polyethylene terephthalate) structural foams in rotor blades
The Baxxodur® epoxy resin systems and Kerdyn® PET (polyethylene terephthalate) complete BASF’s range of solutions for the wind industry. They address the trend towards larger parts and comprise a variety of production processes. The Baxxodur® system offerings for composites are based on BASF’s comprehensive portfolio of amine-based curing agents that are unmatched in the industry. Kerdyn® PET (polyethylene terephthalate) structural foam unites good mechanical properties with wide process compatibility. Thanks to its high temperature and chemical resistance, it adds stability to rotor blades.

Ultra-light utility poles made of Elastolit® withstand extreme loads BASF presents a new type of very strong and wind resistant utility pole made with BASF’s polyurethane system Elastolit®. The technology was already proven in China and is now available in Europe as well.
These poles based on a filament winding technology are much lighter and at least 2.5 times more wind-resistant than the commonly used concrete utility poles for medium voltage grids. Due to their very light weight – a 12 meter composite pole weighs only 250 kg – they are easy to install and no heavy equipment is needed when erecting the poles. The bending strength of the new type is at least 2.5 times higher compared to concrete poles which allows long distances between the single poles of up to 120 meters.