Vehicle lightweighting a focus for Lanxess at K 2013

By Frank Esposito
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: June 26, 2013 5:06 pm ET
Updated: June 26, 2013 5:08 pm ET

Related to this story

Topics Materials, Automotive, Materials Suppliers, K 2013

DORMAGEN, GERMANY — For Lanxess AG, light is equaling heat as the German materials maker approaches the upcoming K show.

“Lightweighting is the hot topic for the K fair,” Lanxess executive Martin Wanders said in a June 21 interview at the firm’s production plant in Dormagen. “We’ve received a lot of requests for lightweight-design materials.”

To meet these requests, Lanxess will be unveiling new lightweight grades of compounds based on its Durethan-brand nylon 6 resins and Pocan-brand polybutylene terphthalate materials. New applications for its Tepex-brand composite sheet also will be featured.

“In under-hood parts, trends require high-performance, cost-effective thermoplastics,” said Wanders, who’s head of global application development for high-performance materials. “Vehicles have smaller and more efficient engines, so we need to improve our materials to follow that trend.”

New XTS-brand grades of both nylon and PBT will focus on lighter-weight. Plastic/metal hybrids have allowed for 15 percent weight reduction in internal auto parts since 2005. Lighter weights also allow for better gas mileage.

The new grades will have improved flow properties as well. “Having lower flow lengths and shorter cycle times opens the door to structural applications,” Wanders said.

Lanxess — based in Leverkusen, but in the process of moving along with 1,000 employees to nearby Cologne by the end of the year — also is launching new LED grades of nylon and PBT for light housings.

The Tepex product line was acquired last year as part of Lanxess’ purchase of German processor Bond Laminates GmbH. The material can be overmolded onto brake pedals and similar products to improve strength and performance.

Outside of automotive, a Tepex product based on thermoplastic polyurethane is used as a layer in athletic shoes. One of the more dramatic goals of the recent German soccer season was scored by a player wearing shoes with a Tepex layer. Half of the goals scored on the recent Euro 2012 soccer tournament also were scored by players running on Tepex.

“Our focus is to bring Tepex sheet into mass-product applications,” Wanders said.

Lanxess generates more than half of its high-performance material sales from the automotive sector. The firm is optimistic about the global auto market’s prospects, as witnessed by last year’s opening of an auto-focused compounding plant in Gastonia NC and by plans to open a similar plant in Porto Feliz, Brazil, by the end of the year.

Elsewhere, Lanxess earlier this year opened a plastics development center in Hong Kong. A new nylon 6 resin plant with almost 200 million pounds of annual capacity — making it one of the world’s largest — is set to open in early 2014.

Lanxess also recently opened a massive 220 million pound-capacity butyl rubber plant in Singapore. The plant cost more than $500 million to build and will create about 160 new jobs.

In 2012, Lanxess posted sales of almost $12 billion. The firm employs 17,400 in 31 countries worldwide.

 


Comments

Vehicle lightweighting a focus for Lanxess at K 2013

By Frank Esposito
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: June 26, 2013 5:06 pm ET
Updated: June 26, 2013 5:08 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Akro-Plastic buying German subsidiary from Metabolix

October 24, 2014 3:32 pm ET

Akro-Plastic GmbH, a Niederzissen, Germany-based plastic compounder, has purchased the assets of Metabolix Inc.'s subsidiary in Germany.    More

Image

SRG opens second China auto parts factory

October 24, 2014 11:25 am ET

U.S. automotive supplier SRG Global Inc. said Oct. 23 it is opening its second plant in China, an injection molding, plating and painting facility in ...    More

Image

BASF pre-tax earnings rise, but will miss financial targets for 2015

October 24, 2014 10:16 am ET

BASF SE has raised its expectations for pre-tax earnings in 2014 but warned that it would not hit its financial targets for next year.    More

Image

Sabic, Shell cancel expansion for SADAF joint venture in Saudi Arabia

October 24, 2014 9:19 am ET

Saudi Basic Industries Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell have cancelled plans to expand an existing petrochemical joint venture in Saudi Arabia following...    More

Image

Sadara CEO says Middle East now has 20 percent of global ethylene capacity

October 24, 2014 9:33 am ET

Sadara CEO Ziad Al-Labban claims that the Middle East's ethylene capacity is now 20 percent of global production.    More

Market Reports

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Plastics in Mexico - State of the Industry Report

This report analyzes the $20 million dollar plastics industry in Mexico including sales of machinery & equipment, resins and finished products.

Our analysts provide insight on business trends, foreign investment, top end markets and plastics processing activity. The report also provides important data on exports, production, employment and value of plastics products manufactured.

Learn more

Plastics Caps & Closures Market Report

The annual recap of top trends and future outlook for the plastics caps & closures market features interviews with industry thought leaders and Bill Wood’s economic forecast of trends in growing end markets. You will also gain insight on trends in caps design, materials, machinery, molds & tooling and reviews of mergers & acquisitions.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events