Experience the benefits of Tepex
The interactive presentation is based on six different focal themes, which visitors can learn more about via a tablet. The presentation starts with an overview on raw materials such as polymer matrix, fibers and fabrics or composite structure – and then provides a range of calculation tools for designing the optimal component, tool, and production process for the customer. The next step involves manufacturing of fully impregnated and consolidated Tepex on double-belt presses and then cutting the flat Tepex semi-finished products, by using water jet technology, to create net-shaped blanks for the customers. “In-house cutting processes save transportation costs. In addition, nesting programs that factor in fiber orientation help us to minimize offcuts, which also benefits our partners,” says Bonefeld. Another aspect is the recycling of Tepex. Thanks to its thermoplastic matrix, Tepex offcuts are highly suited for reuse as quality-assured recycled compounds for injection molding. “This form of recycling makes a valuable contribution to the circular economy,” says Bonefeld. The presentation concludes by explaining the methods for processing Tepex. “For example, we show the possibilities that hybrid molding offers for functional integration so that highly complex components can be manufactured in a single step,” says Bonefeld.
Robust alternative to metal in lightweight structures
Envalior will also be using JEC as an opportunity to present a whole range of exhibits – including a technology demonstrator for the plastic housing of high-voltage batteries in electric vehicles. Jointly developed by Kautex Textron and Envalior, it highlights the benefits of Tepex when it comes to sustainability, manufacturing costs, weight savings, and economical functional integration. Crash-relevant areas of the polyamide 6 structural components are specifically reinforced with Tepex dynalite blanks. “This near-series component passes all the most important mechanical and thermal tests, demonstrating the technical feasibility of these safety relevant components, which are highly complex and subject to extreme stress,” says Henrik Plaggenborg, head of Global Sales Tepex at Envalior.
Another example of a series application of Tepex in the world of electric transportation is the front-end support for a battery-powered luxury sedan from a US manufacturer. Critical areas of the plastic structural component are specifically reinforced with Tepex blanks.
Sitting sustainably – stool made of flax and polylactic acid
Visitors to the Envalior booth will also be shown a way to sit sustainably with the Triplex Stool as an example. The modular three-legged stool from Hong Kong-based design studio RYTE pushes the boundaries in terms of weight, structure and sustainability. It weighs less than 1.8 kilograms and is stackable, making it easy to store and transport. It is manufactured using a “green” variant of Tepex that combines reinforcing flax fibers with polylactic acid as a matrix. “This multi-award-winning stool is made entirely of bio-based and renewable raw materials, which are biodegradable or recyclable. This means that it can be manufactured without the use of any fossil raw materials at all, which helps to conserve resources and protect the environment,” says Bonefeld.
Sport and leisure applications
Envalior will also be showcasing the ultra-light running shoe Puma Fast-FWD NITROTM Elite, featuring a midsole comprising a PWRPLATE made of carbon-fiber-reinforced Tepex dynalite and a foam layer. The high-rebound elasticity of the highly rigid, high-strength composite ensures that the midsole quickly returns to its original shape after every step. “This supports the rolling motion of the runner’s foot, which generates additional forward momentum,” says Bonefeld.
In addition, Envalior will be showcasing an electro-mobility application in the area of sport and leisure – namely, a thin, lightweight electric skateboard from the French manufacturer OKMOS. Thanks to Tepex, the skateboard deck, which hosts the battery and further electrical components, can be manufactured with a wall thickness of just three millimeters.