October 9, 2012
ALMELO, THE NETHERLANDS (Oct. 9, 12:45 p.m. ET) — A new consortium has been formed by groups in the Netherlands to promote the use of composites in the automotive sector.
The European Thermoplastic Automotive Composites (eTAC) consortium comprises TenCate Advanced Composites, DTC Dutch Thermoplastic Components, Kok & Van Engelen, NLR National Aerospace Laboratory of the Netherlands and VIRO.
In a release issued by Almelo-based TenCate, the partners said they have built up a track record of applying composites in the aviation industry in the past few decades, in particular working with Airbus Industries. The consortium intends to use this expertise in the automotive sector where there is a growing trend for using composites to produce light-weight and energy-efficient components.
TenCate points out that automotive composites have been limited to sports cars until recently. Composites processing in this segment does not meet the required production rates of the broader car sector.
TenCate said: “Knowledge relating to the application of thermoplastic composite technology is not widely available in the [automotive] market, in part because this technology is still relatively new outside the aviation sector. The eTAC consortium will provide potential users with this knowledge when defining their applications. It will involve the entire production chain in this, since this is a new technology both in the field of materials and in the processing of these materials into end products.”
One consortium partner, NLR National Aerospace Laboratory of the Netherlands, will provide services to test production processes and validate pilot installations and demonstrators.
The eTAC consortium will be able to link up with existing networks and research centers, such as the ThermoPlastic Composite Research Center in the Netherlands.
TenCate said the consortium will also have an international reach through the offices of each partner.