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INEOS Styrolution Presents Innovative Design Studies for StyLight® at Composites Europe and at China Composites Expo

INEOS Styrolution Presents Innovative Design Studies for StyLight® at Composites Europe and at China Composites Expo

INEOS Styrolution, the global leader in styrenics, announces that StyLight®, the new generation of thermoplastic composites, will be presented at the 23rd China International Composites Industrial Technical Expo in Shanghai, China (September 6-8, 2017) and at the 12th Composites Europe Trade Fair and Forum for Composites, Technology and Applications in Stuttgart, Germany (September 19-21, 2017). The new composite combines structural stiffness with surface aesthetics opening up opportunities in the automotive industry to address both, structural and aesthetic demands with a single material. This results in designers rethinking the design of certain vehicle applications.

Traditional car applications often consist of a frame or structural part that is complemented by visible parts providing a certain aesthetical value to the user. StyLight offers an excellent mechanical performance profile including stiffness, strength and impact strength. It is on par with today’s most advanced PA6 or PP based thermoplastic composites in the market. At the same time, the material is capable of combining the roles of structural frame and visible aesthetic part. This leaves room for design changes and ultimately weight reduction.

Integrating structural and aesthetic functions reduces the number of components for a given application and system cost. INEOS Styrolution partners with KTM Technology, a creative Austrian engineering office, to develop and propose innovative design concepts for a selected number of applications. 

These selected automotive applications are offering the highest integration potential from INEOS Styrolution’s and KTM’s perspective:

Automotive door module: Typically, a door comprises of three functions, an externally visible surface, typically a sheet of painted metal, a non-visible semi-structural part, typically supporting all electronics and mechatronics of the door module and insulating the cockpit from the water, and an interior visible surface. Here Styrolution develops a concept to integrate the non-visible semi-structural function with the visible interior.

Automotive central console: This application is also very demanding with a directly visible surface, supporting electronic equipment and providing local structural stiffness. Moreover, the space available inside a console is very tight. It should allow sufficient room for the wire tree and storage space. Here again a thin wall providing structural stiffness and offering a high surface quality is offering potential for the integration of multiple functions.

Automotive lift gate: There are many lift gate designs available depending on vehicle shape and design. Different composite solutions from long glass fibre reinforced PP to SMC have been used for quite some time. Up to now, the interior visible surface covers the structural frame. Attempts were made to overmold a thermoplastic composite retainer with injected molded GF PP but this adds cost and weight. Here StyLight offers a potential integration solution.

Body panel for trucks or tractors: A massive weight reduction is possible with the replacement of the thick SMC panel, which is currently being used in this field. Dimensional stability, class A surface quality, wind resistance, resistance to powerful vibrations are among the long list of specifications for this very demanding application. Some of these panels also integrate functions like front light or bonnet. Here, StyLight again has a good value proposition to reduce weight.

A StyLight demonstrator will be presented both, in Shanghai and in Stuttgart. It is combining different surface aesthetics such as gloss surface, grained surface, molded surface and design foil and a semi-structural reinforcement provides a first impression of the material’s potential. A team of INEOS Styrolution experts will be available at the booth in Stuttgart to discuss the innovative implications of the recent design study for StyLight.

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