Next-Generation Composites Lighten the Load for Automakers

One way to lighten a vehicles weight is to replace metal production components with equally capable plastic counterparts using continuous-fiber reinforcement of injection molded structures with thermoplastic composites.

To help the automotive industry get there, we've created an integrated system called Ultracom™.  Ultracom™ is a system that, in addition to the semi-finished products and the injection-molding compounds, offers a full development package to support our customers.  With Ultracom, automotive structural composite parts can be designed with optimized cost and weight.

Thermoplastic parts can be used all over the vehicle for significant weight reduction. Thermoplastic parts can be incorporated into the vehicle design for significant weight reduction.

BASF's Ultracom system consists of three elements:

  • a new range of semi-finished products based on thermoplastic laminates (Ultralaminate™) and unidirectional tapes (Ultratape™)
  • overmolding compounds based on Ultramid® (PA)
  • an engineering service package including concept phase, design, simulation, processing and parts testing

The key innovations in this new approach are laminates based on woven fabrics and unidirectional (UD) tapes that are fully impregnated with Ultramid, polyamide materials. These thermoplastic composite advancements are made in cooperation with TenCate, the globally active fiber-reinforced composites manufacturer, and Owens Corning, the leading supplier of glass fibers.

With continuous fiber-reinforced thermoplastic composite parts, the best possible combination of weight savings, cost efficiency and performance can be achieved for the body and chassis in tomorrow's cars.

Stay tuned for more stories on how we help lighten the load.