In mid-2011, BASF (Ludwigshafen) took another step forward on the road to plastic applications in automobile bodies and chassis by establishing its cross-divisional, multi-material Lightweight Composite Team. This team is simultaneously investigating the potential that three plastic matrix systems, epoxy resin, PUR and polyamide, hold for continuous-fiber reinforcement in resin injection processes suitable for mass production, including in particular resin transfer molding (RTM).
These thermoplastic composites can be formed, recycled and welded. Apart from add-on parts like doors, tailgates and roof modules, potential applications also include highly loaded structural automotive parts. Companies such as Evonik (Essen, Germany) are working on similar material systems....