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Braskem’s polypropylene sheets combined with WEAV3D’s lattice technology addresses structural and automotive applications requiring high-strength, lightweight materials.

Stephen Moore

October 8, 2023

2 Min Read
polypropylene resin in combination with Rebar for Plastics
Image courtesy of Braskem

Polyolefins producer Braskem has unveiled a novel demonstrator part that combines Braskem’s polypropylene (PP) resin in combination with Rebar for Plastics reinforcing technology from WEAV3D Inc., an advanced manufacturing and materials startup. WEAV3D’s thermoplastic composite lattice technology is based on unidirectional, fiber-reinforced composite tapes and enhances the performance of PP for structural and automotive material applications.

The WEAV3D lattice technology enables lightweight PP parts to replace metal materials such as steel, increasing PP’s use in automotive applications by balancing improvements in performance, weight, and cost. The combination of Braskem PP sheets with WEAV3D’s Rebar for Plastics will allow Braskem to compete in new structural material end markets.

“We’re excited to offer our clients new innovations and partnerships around high-performance polypropylene materials utilizing the WEAV3D lattice technology,” said Amanda Zani, technology platform manager at Braskem. “As the automotive industry continues to roll out new electric vehicle designs, it requires automakers to re-think the vehicle design with cutting-edge performance materials. With significant improvements in lightweighting, reduced costs, and higher material efficiency, combining Braskem’s PP portfolio with WEAV3D composite lattices provides a ‘win-win’ in terms of enhanced material performance and a more sustainable environmental impact, including the integration of natural fiber options.”

Benefits of using WEAV3D’s Rebar for Plastics and Braskem polypropylene versus conventional composite “organosheet” are said to include:

  • Weight reduction in sheet blanks by around 50% and final part weight by approximately 20%;

  • a reduction in costs by about 50%;

  • reduced scrap by increasing sheet yield from 25% to 45% by weight, resulting in a 63% reduction in trim waste.

“Braskem has been a fantastic partner throughout this project and really demonstrated a strong commitment to sustainable materials innovation,” said WEAV3D President Chris Oberste. “Leveraging Braskem’s diverse polypropylene portfolio and deep technical expertise, we worked collaboratively with the Braskem team to identify the right combination of Braskem PP and reinforcing lattice material in order to minimize cost and maximize performance, while achieving formability and sustainability goals.”

About the Author(s)

Stephen Moore

Stephen has been with PlasticsToday and its preceding publications Modern Plastics and Injection Molding since 1992, throughout this time based in the Asia Pacific region, including stints in Japan, Australia, and his current location Singapore. His current beat focuses on automotive. Stephen is an avid folding bicycle rider, often taking his bike on overseas business trips, and is a proud dachshund owner.

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