Lightweight design using fiber-reinforced plastics will play an increasingly important role in future but at the same time is faced with new challenges to offer cost-efficient, sustainable solutions for large-scale industrial production. SGL Group is driving the development of composites and their implementation in large-scale serial production. Together with customers, the company is developing lightweight solutions suitable for serial production in its Lightweight and Application Center (LAC), drawing on its broad materials base and process expertise across the entire fiber composites value chain. At this year’s JEC World show in Paris from March 14-16, SGL Group will showcase the engineering services portfolio of its LAC as well as thermoset and thermoplastic material solutions for automotive and aerospace construction, the wind energy sector, and other industrial applications.
How tailored composite solutions are developed in the LAC
The LAC was set up last year at the SGL site in Meitingen near Augsburg and has at its disposal a cross-disciplinary team of experts, working daily in close cooperation with SGL Group Product Development on solutions based on a diverse range of fiber composite materials and processing technologies. Occupying a floor space now increased to 1000 m2, the LAC team supports customers in the development of innovative fiber composite structures and processes and the production of prototypes and small lots of all kinds.
“In the LAC, development projects are already underway with partners and manufacturers in different industries worldwide. The scope of the tasks being carried out is considerable. It ranges from simply brainstorming ideas to comprehensive joint design work with simulations and tests. We are excited about the upcoming JEC World show, where we will present our complete portfolio to the international technical community,” said Andreas Erber, Head of LAC at SGL Group.
Smart material concepts offer new solutions based on the toolbox principle
To support innovative applications, SGL Group’s material toolboxes are being continually developed and expanded. In the area of fiber-reinforced thermosets, SGL will be showcasing a complete material toolbox, consisting of pre-impregnated semi-finished products based on a rapid-curing epoxy resin developed in-house. This E420 epoxy resin system combines very rapid curing times (less/equal 3 minutes at more/equal 150°C) and good storage stability (4 weeks at room temperature). The pre-impregnated semi-finished products also have optimized tack for automated processing. The high glass transition temperature of 140-150°C enables the component to be demolded at high temperatures.
In the area of fiber-reinforced thermoplastics, too, SGL Group now offers a comprehensive range of materials in the form of a toolbox with tapes, organosheets, and long fiber-reinforced thermoplastics (LFT). The thermoplastic materials permit very fast cycles, easy weldability, and good recyclability.
“The various materials in our material toolboxes can be flexibly combined and processed, thus offering maximum design freedom. At the same time, they reduce the complexity involved in the production of components. This is because they are based on the same matrix system, enabling a high degree of standardization to be achieved and ensuring excellent compatibility between the different semi-finished products. In addition, these toolboxes save users having to go through the qualification process for the matrix system more than once,” explained Stefan Geh, Head of Product Groups, describing the advantages of SGL Group’s material toolbox concept.
Visit us at JEC World, Paris Nord Villepinte, Hall 6, Booth D25!