The plastic-metal composite technology developed by the specialty chemicals group LANXESS is used in the front end of Audi’s new top-of-the-range model. The component is a beam in the engine compartment to which, for example, radiator and headlight assemblies are attached.
A new material known to experts as organic plastic sheet is used alongside an aluminum sheet to reinforce the complex front end. The organic sheets are produced by Bond-Laminates, a development partner. LANXESS produces the materials used to make the organic plastic sheet. Continuous glass fibers are first woven into the form of mats. These mats are then combined with a special polyamide from LANXESS to produce a sheet. Unlike conventional metals, organic plastic sheets can be formed into virtually any shape by heating. The use of this innovative LANXESS technology makes the component lighter, thereby reducing the overall weight of the vehicle and its fuel consumption, as well as cutting CO2.emissions.
The Semi-Crystalline Products (SCP) business unit supplies the high-tech plastic to the organic sheet manufacturer Bond-Laminates. Ingolstadt-based Audi unveiled its new flagship model in March.
“We have been working successfully with AUDI AG for over ten years now and are delighted that our innovation is being used in the new model A8,” said Hubert Fink, head of the Semi-Crystalline Products business unit.
Well over 40 million front ends have now been manufactured with hybrid components made of Durethan from LANXESS. The SCP business unit belongs to the Performance Polymers segment, which achieved total sales in fiscal 2009 of approximately EUR 2.4 billion.
LANXESS (lanxess.com) is a leading specialty chemicals company with sales of EUR 5.06 billion in 2009 and currently around 14,300 employees in 23 countries. The company is represented at 43 production sites worldwide. The core business of LANXESS is the development, manufacturing and marketing of plastics, rubber, intermediates and specialty chemicals.
This news release contains forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by LANXESS AG management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.