At JEC World, the largest international composites trade show, which ran from March 8-10 in Paris, the current progress and great potential of lightweight design solutions based on composites were impressively demonstrated. The show broke several records at the same time. According to the organizers, a total of 1300 exhibitors showcased their developments in two halls over an area covering 62 000 m2 and for the first time attracted some 37 000 visitors from more than 100 countries. SGL Group, too, recorded very large attendance with many interested visitors from the automotive, aerospace, and wind energy sectors, including a majority of international guests.
“This year’s JEC World was one of the most successful trade shows in recent years for us. We held substantive discussions with many large automotive and aerospace manufacturers. Our talks focused not only on material properties but increasingly also on concepts for the use of composites and their integration into existing production processes,” commented Andreas Wüllner, head of SGL Group’s Composites – Fibers and Materials business unit.
SGL Group has responded to this wide interest in composites and their targeted application by bundling its composites activities in the newly created Composites – Fibers and Materials Business Unit and building its own Lightweight Design and Applications Center.
“Carbon Core” body of the BMW 7 one of the show’s highlights
On a large open-plan booth covering a total area of 159 m2, SGL Group exhibited many different innovative fiber materials and composite solutions. These included material innovations such as towpregs based on 50k continuous carbon fiber tow and thermoplastic composites based on glass fibers, which are particularly suitable for large-scale manufacture. SGL Group also premiered its “Carbon Core” body for the new BMW 7 series model, which proved to be one of the show’s highlights.
On the fringe of the show, SGL Group also participated in a series of technical presentations, providing insights into material trends that support the increasingly automated production of composites for large-scale manufacture. The company was also among 29 recipients of the JEC Innovation Award – in our case for the composite-based rear panel of the Audi MSS platform, produced jointly with Benteler and now fitted as standard on the Audi R8 and other models.
Construction of the Lightweight and Application Center underway
Meanwhile, phased construction of SGL Group‘s Lightweight and Application Center (LAC) is underway at the Meitingen site near Augsburg. In 2016, specialized plant and machinery will be installed and expert teams set up for digital simulations so that the LAC can start its activities during the course of the year. Through the new Center, SGL Group will help its customers optimize the use of fibers and materials for composites. In future, the LAC will be involved in the development of processes and products, as well as prototype and small-lot production.
Upcoming trade shows in Shanghai, Augsburg, Sao Paulo, and Düsseldorf
Upcoming trade show stops for SGL Group in the composites sector include “China Composites Expo 2016” from August 31 to September 2 in Shanghai, “Experience Composites” from September 21-23 in Augsburg, “Feiplar Composites & Feipur 2016” from November 8-10 in Sao Paulo, and “Composites Europe” from November 29 to December 1 in Düsseldorf.