TenCate Advanced Composites, a leading supplier of advanced thermoset and thermoplastic composite materials has signed a new two-year partnership contract with AZL Aachen GmbH, the Center for Integrative Lightweight Production in Aachen, Germany. The contract relates to joint development of composite material solutions for emerging volume markets such as the automotive industry and the oil & gas industry.
AZL Aachen GmbH, located at RWTH Aachen University, aims to develop the automated production of strength- and cost-optimized lightweight components, suitable for mass production and versatile process chains in composite and multi-material design. The partnership between TenCate and AZL Aachen as industrial service provider will focus on increasing the productivity of production processes and reducing the manufacturing costs for thermoplastic and thermoset composites. TenCate entered into cooperation with AZL Aachen as one of the founding partners in 2013. Last year extensive technology and market screening was conducted at AZL Aachen for the joint development of composite material solutions for emerging volume markets. This was carried out in close cooperation with other leading composite technology partners like BASF, DSM, Johnson Controls, Opel, SAERTEX, Toyota and Sabic.
Apart from the aerospace market, lightweight composite materials have great potential in the automotive industry. For larger volumes of cars, automated production processes are a must as the time required to make a composite component, must be competitive with conventional metal processing. Such requirements are possible with the use of thermoplastic composites, as these advanced materials can be moulded in a similar way to conventional materials. Together with its industry partners, TenCate Advanced Composites is in the process of developing a range of thermoplastic composite materials that support volume production in the automotive industry.
Alliances with partners from both industry and the academic world are crucial for accelerating the development process and the route to market. Key drivers are the need to reduce the weight of cars, and hence a reduction of CO2 emissions. TenCate is currently engaged in various automotive initiatives in Germany, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.
TenCate Advanced Composites
Almelo, the Netherlands, Thursday 6 February 2014