Composite/metal hybrid improves hollow profiles

Lanxess says that it has now extended the use of its plastic/metal hybrid technology to make hollow profiles with round or rectangular cross sections.

This hybrid technology makes use of glass fiber reinforced polyamide 6 for injection molding as well as a steel or aluminum sheet as metal component.

‘Compared to sheet metal, hollow profiles show significantly higher dimensional stability as well as increased torsional strength and stiffness,’ said Lukas Schröer, project manager for lightweight structures. ‘We believe that this new hollow profile hybrid technology enables the manufacturing of components such as cross car beams, which up until now were not resilient enough using classic plastic metal hybrid technology.’ 

Lanxess developed a one-step process to make the part where the metal inserts can be automatically placed into the injection molding tool. Due to their production process, these metal inserts exhibit dimensional tolerances, which can damage the tool. In case of undersized inserts leaks in the tool system may result and to avoid the profile collapsing due to the high levels of melt pressure during the injection molding process, the metal insert has to be supported. Another challenge for the company was to create a long-lasting, form fitting bond between the plastic and the metal in all directions.

The company says that the technology could be used to make seat structures, front ends, tail gates, and mirror brackets in truck as well as furniture, ladders and strollers. It is currently working on expanding hybrid technology to make die-cast or extrusion molding inserts.’ 

This story uses material from Lanxess,with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.