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TenCate, BASF form strategic alliance for thermoplastic automotive composites

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Oct. 29, 2012 — TenCate Advanced Composites and BASF have entered into a strategic alliance to produce new, high-performance composite materials to reduce weight and carbon dioxide emissions, according to a joint release from both companies.

The two companies plan to cooperate on the development, production and commercialization of thermoplastic composite materials suitable for high-volume vehicle production.

In the release, the companies identify a growing need for composite materials in mass production that calls for “rapid development of materials and manufacturing proceses.”

In this strategic alliance, BASF will contribute its comprehensive experience in the production and formulation of thermoplastic resins in order to develop special variants of its Ultramid® (PA), Ultradur® (PBT) and Ultrason® (PESU) product lines.
TenCate joins in with their experience in composite manufacturing.

“The next major advance in lightweight automotive constructions will not be possible without a dramatic reduction in processing costs,” says Melanie Mass-Brunner, head of the Engineering Plastics Europe business unit of BASF in Germany, according to the release. “This can be accomplished by using continuous fiber reinforced thermoplastic composites. The breakthrough for composites to mass production, however, has not yet been made. By working together with TenCate, we intend to jointly achieve this breakthrough.”

Compared to metal parts, fiber reinforced plastic composites can be 30-50 percent lighter, the companies said. Thermoplastic composites help car manufacturers economize on the fuel consumption of automobiles and enable the industry to safe costs. Due to the ease of thermoplastic processing, these advanced materials will dramatically reduce production cycle times, have no limitations in shelf life and can be recycled. Thus mass production becomes accessible.

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