Fiber-Reinforced Bumper Carrier Made by One-Shot Hybrid Molding, Lanxess, Honda
New Fuel Cell Vehicle Boosting Plastics
In the "Clarity Fuel Cell" vehicle by Japanese automotive producer Honda, the rear bumper support is made of Tepex composite material based on polyamide (PA)6, and of Durethan (PA6) high-performance plastic. The plastic is supplied by Lanxess AG in Cologne, Germany, while the composite material comes from the company’s subsidiary Bond-Laminates. According to Honda company information, this is the first time a bumper support is applied that was produced in a serial hybrid molding process. The component is manufactured in the one-shot hybrid molding process, requiring only one single stage to process the engineering plastic and the composite material. The producer states this simplifies the production process, while reducing weights by approx. 50 % as compared to metal components.
In the stage of development, the PA6-based continuous fiber-reinforced composite semi-finished products named Tepex dynalite are combined to Tepex flowcore random-fiber reinforced composite semi-finished products. This is done in several layers. This combination enables good material flow, making it possible to fill even complex geometries during flow molding. It also steps up mechanical load-bearing capacity, giving good properties of energy absorption to critical components such as rear bumper supports.
The material producer also assists in the process of development, up to serial production. This is done by injection molding at Takagi Seiko Co., Nagano-ken in Japan, in the case of the Honda bumper carrier. Distributor Sunwa Trading was also involved in development. In Japan, the company distributes the continuous fiber-reinforced thermoplastic composite material of the Tepex brand.
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