SABIC announced the development of a new cutting-edge technology to produce lightweight, cost –effective and recyclable vehicle panels using their UDMAX tape, a unidirectional, fibre-reinforced thermoplastic composite. The technology is designed to replace traditional panels that are made of metal and thermoset materials for interior and exterior automotive applications.
The company stated that this will soon be commercialised in the bulkhead of a light commercial vehicle (LCV) that is produced in large scale for the global automotive market. This bulkhead was developed by SABIC in collaboration with RLE International, AMA Composites and Setex Textil GmbH. SABIC will be showcasing a sample model of the composite bulkhead at its JEC World 2019 exhibit.
Vehicle panels that use the UDMAX tape, boast of strength, impact resistance and are light weight. The result of applying UDMAX is a reduction of mass on the interior panels by up to 35 % in contrast with metal parts. For exterior application, the composite material can reduce mass by up to 50 %. They are produced using a highly efficient, one-shot process of lamination and low-pressure moulding.