10th July 2014
SGL Group, the company behind the carbon fiber production for BMW’s ‘i’ vehicles, has started production of new thermoplastic-compatible carbon fibers at its Muir of Ord site in Scotland.
“The next generation of carbon fiber-based products is currently emerging in the thermoplastics sector. Our new heavy tow carbon fiber SIGRAFIL® C 50k has already been exhibited with great success at this year’s JEC Composites Show in Paris and, after the Show, we received our first orders,” reported Peter Weber, Vice President Sales & Marketing, SGL Group. The new production start-up will initially service orders from the automotive industry.
Thermoplastic carbon fiber composites combine the properties of carbon fibers with the typical processing advantages of thermoplastics. They can be shaped, recycled, and produced in short cycles. As a result, they are opening up new possibilities for serial production. Only if the carbon fibers can be firmly bonded to the thermoplastic matrix, as is the case with these newly developed fibers, can their high stiffness and strength be fully transmitted to the finished components. SGL Group has developed a special surface system (sizing) for this purpose. Other sizing systems, e.g. for high-temperature applications, are already at the development stage.
The company is targeting the automotive industry with the new material in support of the industry trend to minimize vehicle weight.