BASF and TenCate team up on automotive thermoplastic composites

"The next major advance in lightweight automotive constructions will not be possible without a dramatic reduction in processing costs. This can be accomplished by using continuous fiber reinforced thermoplastic composites. The breakthrough for composites to mass production, however, has not yet been made. By working together with TenCate, we intend to jointly achieve this breakthrough.”
Melanie Maas-Brunner, head of Engineering Plastics Europe, BASF, Germany

The companies' main goal is to answer the automotive industry's need for composite materials suitable for use mass production, which requires a rapid development of materials and manufacturing processes.

TenCate Advanced Composites has a leading position in continuous fibre reinforced thermoplastic composites with its Cetex® products, which are mainly used for aircraft structures and interiors.  

BASF will contribute its expertise in the production and formulation of thermoplastic resins in order to develop special variants of its Ultramid® (PA), Ultradur® (PBT) and Ultrason® (PESU) products.

Together the companies will focus on automotive composite materials (UD-tapes, prepregs and laminates) based on these speciality resin systems.

“TenCate Cetex laminates and prepregs have long been applied in commercial aircraft constructions, and are increasingly used in industrial manufacturing processes," says says Frank Meurs, group director of TenCate Advanced Composites EMEA.

"Now, TenCate intends to expand its activities in the automotive industry. We are looking forward to this joint effort in making new materials rapidly available for automotive mass production.”

  • BASF also recently announced a collaboration with carbon fibre manufacturer SGL Group to develop a composite material based on carbon fibre and a reactive polyamide system suitable for use in the mass production of automotive components.This composite is intended for processing by the thermoplastic resin transfer moulding (T-RTM) process, resulting in considerably shorter processing cycles than the conventional thermosetting RTM process. (See BASF and SGL to develop carbon fibre thermoplastics for automotive applications.)