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E-coat sustainable long-fiber thermoplastic composites for structural automotive applications

: Chaudhari, R.; Reif, M.; Geiger, O.; Henning, F.; Diehl, A.; Terenzi, A.

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Society of Plastics Engineers -SPE-, Automotive Division; Society of Plastics Engineers -SPE-, Composites Division:
The road to lightweight performance. 8th Annual Automotive Composites Conference and Exhibition, ACCE 2008. Vol.1 : September 16 - 18, 2008, Troy, Michigan, USA
Red Hook, NY: Curran, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-605-60704-7
Automotive Composites Conference & Exhibition (ACCE) <8, 2008, Troy, MI>
Conference Paper, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer ICT ()

Polypropylene and glass fibre (PP/GF) based Long Fibre Reinforced thermoplastics (LFT) are nowadays established as state of the art materials for semi-structural applications in the automotive industry. However, PP/GF LFT materials are limited for producing automotive components for use in general assembly. The use of LFT based components for structural applications and their implementation directly into the body in white assembly is still a challenge for the automotive industry. In order to develop LFT materials for such applications, a feasibility study to investigate the e-coating process sustainability of LFT materials was conducted. The current article addresses the developed LFT formulations and their basic mechanical properties. For this purpose polyamide / glass fibre (PA/GF) based LFT materials were thoroughly investigated. The change of mechanical performance of the LFT materials due to applied temperatures of the e-coating process was investigated by benchmar king of non-temperature-treated against tempered LFT specimens. In addition, the combined influence of temperatures and chemicals on the LFT properties was evaluated by running the LFT specimens through the actual painting line that included e-coating and subsequent painting and drying processes. Finally it was found that it is possible to manufacture LFT parts capable of withstanding the e-coating process without causing major changes in the performance of the LFT materials.