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Solvay Expands Prepreg LFT Portfolio for Auto Sector

Image courtesy of Solvay SolvaLite 714 Prepregs
The new fast-curing epoxy composites are suited for molding high-volume body panels. Solvay also has added capacity for long-fiber compounds.

Solvay has unveiled an addition to its portfolio of composite materials for the automotive industry. SolvaLite 714 Prepregs are described as a new generation of unidirectional carbon-fiber and woven-fabric products pre-impregnated with SolvaLite 714 epoxy resin. They offer fast cure cycles and a long out life, and have been optimized for manufacturing automotive components, such as body panels, at short compression-molding cycle times in serial production runs.

“Our new SolvaLite 714 Prepregs have been specially developed to ensure strong product robustness in large-scale industrial compression-molding processes, and deliver high structural part performance,” said Greg Kelly, Product Manager Prepregs, Solvay Composites. “They are available in a range of unidirectional carbon-fiber reinforced and woven-fabric formats.”

SolvaLite 714 Prepregs are currently manufactured in Europe and will be commercially available worldwide beginning in the second quarter of 2022. Solvay officially launched the new product family to the automotive market at JEC World International Composites Show in Paris on May 3, 2022.

In addition, Solvay recently invested in production capability enhancements for Xencor LFT (long-fiber technology). The investment includes new manufacturing assets and additional capabilities in Solvay’s Oudenaarde facility in Belgium, as well as an expansion of research and development resources at one of Solvay’s technical centers in Alpharetta, GA. Xencor LFT is one of the key pillars in Solvay's lightweighting portfolio, which also includes short-fiber compounds and continuous carbon-fiber composites.

Xencor LFT opens up new lightweighting potential for aluminum die-cast replacement in next-generation electric vehicles, according to Solvay. This includes several areas of metal replacement in braking and steering parts, electric-drive units, inverters, and battery module protection devices, among other applications.

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