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Chinese OEM Fronts Up with Lightweight Lanxess Solution

Image: Lanxess car front end
High-modulus, high-flow polyamide delivers superior mechanical performance at optimized cost.

Chinese automaker Geely has selected Lanxess as supplier of choice for an innovative front-end carrier (FE) structural component, which will be used in a coming passenger car model. The modern hybrid design goes beyond the traditional square/rectangular form front-end structure.

While the lower cooler mounting is in sheet metal, the complex upper member was developed using the highly filled and heat-stabilized polyamide PP grade Durethan BKV50H2.0 EF, a material suited for structural components that require high stiffness and strength. The full plastic design for the upper section caters to a wide range of requirements for this multi-component assembly. The concept not only demonstrated the advantage of using a high-modulus thermoplastic material for this application but also provided a means to achieve multiple saving targets.

Lanxess was chosen by Geely as material supplier based on its expertise in handling part design as well as the suitability of its Durethan polyamide material. “Yet, designing a plastic structural component and providing the right material is not enough,” said Add Tsui, Project Manager at the High Performance Materials (HPM) business unit. “Considering the overall market background and customer expectations, understanding the tasks on hand and preparing different potential design proposals for the FE structure was also key in developing this project.”

Lanxess’ engineering plastics are designed to support customers in achieving maximum component performance and efficient processing, said the company. To meet these objectives, Lanxess established the Pocan and Durethan EF and XF product lines, a broad range of easy-flow polybutylene terephthalates (PBT) and polyamide 6 and 66 grades. “EF” stands for “EasyFlow,” and “XF” for “XtremeFlow.” In addition, Lanxess has developed high-modulus thermoplastics with glass-fiber content of 50% and more. These products display unusually high stiffness and strength and, despite their high filler content, can still be processed as easily and efficiently as comparable standard materials.

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