IN regions where road surfaces are poor, vehicle underbodies are subjected to tough conditions, having to withstand the impact of stones thrown up from the surface and, in extreme cases, even direct contact with the ground.
A major German car manufacturer is therefore equipping the first vehicles of various model series that are delivered to countries with poor road infrastructure with an engine undertray made of a particularly robust thermoplastic composite construction.
This consists of the continuous-fiber-reinforced thermoplastic composite Tepex dynalite from Lanxess combined with a DLFT (direct long fibre thermoplastic) mass. Thanks to the toughness and tensile strength that Tepex delivers, this composite design is significantly more resistant to impacts and damage than previous material solutions.
The new component also results in significant weight savings. The engine tray in the Tepex-DLFT composite design is over 60% lighter than an equivalent component made of steel, and up to 20% lighter when the new material is substituted for aluminum.