TenCate Advanced Composites and Kringlan Composites AG (Otelfingen, Switzerland) have signed a cooperation agreement (MoU) in order to develop solutions for part manufacturing on the basis of thermoplastic composite technology.
The current main development initiated by Kringlan Composites has been the design and production of a full carbon fibre-reinforced composite wheel for high performance cars. TenCate has been involved in the development of the thermoplastic composite material, which has been qualified for this purpose. This development now reaches the final phase in order to enter series production.
Know-how built up in aerospace industry
Close cooperation of a materials company and a parts manufacturer for the automotive industry is conditional for a successful implementation of fibre-reinforced thermo-plastics technology. For this purpose TenCate used its know-how in thermoplastics, which development started over 25 years ago in the aerospace industry. It has resulted in a leading position based on the portfolio of TenCate Cetex® materials. TenCate is expecting to expand this technology into the automotive sector the coming years.
Enhanced safety and reduced weight
The focus will be on high performance parts that enhance safety and reduce weight. Composite wheels are highly effective to generate weight reduction and reduced fuel consumption. Acceleration of light weight wheel will cost less energy and lowers the CO2 emission of the vehicle. The weight reduction per wheel is 30 to 40 per cent.
The use of thermoplastic composite enables series production, because of much shorter production time. A wheel is a complex and technical part, which also includes welding technology. The wheel should have a high impact resistance and is sometimes part of the safety structure, which calls for an advanced and high performance composites material. In recent years, Kringlan Composites has developed a patented technology which can be used in the future for the series production of composites wheels, which comply with the highest performance standards.