Germany-based Lanxess, a specialty chemicals company, said it is expanding its expertise on an extensive range of potential applications for blow-moulded components made from technical plastics in automobiles.
On one hand, the global trend, towards more turbocharged combustion engines that are both efficient and climate-friendly, continues, thus leading to increased demand for air management components, especially blow-moulded charge air pipes, with Asia in particular being a major growth market because the market share of turbocharged engines here is still comparatively low, said a statement from Lanxess.
On the other hand, the number of natural-gas-powered vehicles is increasing all the time, and fuel cell technology is being heralded as a new growth technology. Blow-moulded polyamide liners are already used in compressed natural gas and are also best choice for hydrogen tanks, it said.
These trends motivated the high performance materials (HPM) business unit at Lanxess not only to set up a global team tasked with developing blow-moulding materials and their applications in modern powertrains, but also commissioning a state-of-the-art blow-moulding system at the technical centre in Dormagen.
“Having our own processing equipment ensures that our blow-moulding product types possess excellent processing properties,” said Dr Klaus Küsters, who is responsible for developing the blow-moulding business field at HPM.
“Our customers benefit directly from in-depth processing expertise. The new system will also allow us to offer targeted assistance, for example during troubleshooting or at the start of series production,” Küsters added.
The new system is a KBS20-SB extrusion blow-moulding machine from Bonn-based Kautex Maschinenbau. The company is one of the world's leading manufacturers of such machines.
This new system means that Lanxess now also has two tools for manufacturing close-to-production components in the focus application fields, it said.
One tool is designed especially for air ducts such as charge air ducts or clean air ducts in combustion engines. Within a suction blow-moulding process it can be used to manufacture complex pipes with varying diameters and oval cross-sections up to 630 mm in length.
Clean air ducts with integrated bellows can also be manufactured. The second tool is designed mainly for blow-moulded liners for high-pressure tanks in hydrogen- and natural-gas-powered vehicles. It also features a flat cavity area from which test specimens for calculating material characteristic values can be generated, stated Küsters.
“The resulting process-related material data give a very precise and representative material description and help our customers in application development,” he added.-TradeArabia News Service