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 Automotive, Materials, 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

Proposed Shell project draws more than 1,000 to informational meetings

April 17, 2014 2:03 pm ET

More than 1,000 people attended a pair of public meetings hosted by Shell Chemical LP on April 16 to discuss the possibility of building a major...    More

Image

Hedging can slow the resin rollercoaster

April 17, 2014 3:00 pm ET

The good old days — if they even ever existed — are gone, and.Andy VanPutte thinks volatility in the resin market is here to stay and...    More

Image

German auto supplier Dr. Schneider opens second US plant

April 17, 2014 12:57 pm ET

Dr. Schneider Kunststoffwerke GmbH, a German supplier of plastic interior auto parts, has opened a $29 million manufacturing plant in Russell Springs,...    More

Spain's Cristian Lay Group buys two materials units of bankrupt LSB

April 17, 2014 11:11 am ET

Spanish industrial conglomerate Cristian Lay Group has purchased two of the bankrupt Spanish PET packaging group La Seda de Barcelona.    More

Huntingdon Fiberglass launching second line

April 16, 2014 2:18 pm ET

Huntingdon Fiberglass Products LLC is getting set to start up a second production line later this year and hire 15-20 new employees as it sees demand ...    More

Market Reports

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook North America

This in-depth report provides analysis and discussions of economic and political conditions, market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies. In addition, there are reviews of 25 leading thermoformers in the packaging segment, assessing their growth initiatives and performance metrics over 10 years.

Learn more

Automotive Market Review and Outlook 2014 The Americas

This 75-page report features in-depth analysis of the automotive industry for the Americas. It includes discussions of market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting production and threats as well as design strategies being implemented by the major automakers. Detailed charts and data tables outline North American automotive production over the last five years.

Learn more

Plastics Building & Construction Market Review and Outlook 2014 with MS Excel chart data

This report provides in-depth analysis of the plastic building and construction market for North America, including discussions of trends, opportunities, threats and the latest developments in construction trends that impact plastics processors.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

May 6, 2014 - May 8, 2014Plastics in Medical Devices 2014

May 12, 2014 - May 12, 2014Plastics News Brazil Pharma Summit

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

February 3, 2015 - February 7, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events