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11-04-2013

DSM joins LIPA-Team

Royal DSM, the global Life Sciences and Materials Sciences company, announces it has joined the LIPA-Team, set up to develop an industrial process for the manufacture of endless-fiber-reinforced advanced thermoplastic composite parts. LIPA stands for “Lightweight Integrated Process Application.” DSM will contribute with materials know-how and in-depth understanding of polyamide 6 applications.

The key to success of advanced thermoplastic composites in automotive applications produced in high volumes is automated manufacturing processes. The LIPAseries Project Team has developed an integrated process that involves the preheating of an organic sheet (a preform of thermoplastic impregnated continuous fibers), transporting it robotically to the LIPA tool in an injection molding machine, and back-injecting it with thermoplastic to create the final part. All steps in the total process—primarily heating, handling, reshaping, injecting—must be perfectly coordinated with one another, with the tool, as well as with the handling system. The various development partners can call on more than 20 years of experience in back-injection and pressing of flexible materials such as textiles or thermoplastic sheets.

Christian Götze, head of development at Georg Kaufmann Formenbau, the lead partner of LIPA, says: “With the participation of DSM as support-partner in the LIPA-Team, we can extend our existing competence for polyamide 6 applications. DSM will support with application-specific know-how regarding material selection, part development, engineering and material processing."

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