Honda’s Clarity Fuel Cell sedan features hybrid-molded rear bumper beam

The rear bumper beam is made of the Tepex composites material from the Lanxess subsidiary Bond-Laminates.

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Honda has introduced a hybrid-molded rear bumper beam in the hydrogen electric vehicle, Clarity Fuel Cell. The part is made of Tepex, continuous and long-fiber reinforced thermoplastic composites with PA 6 matrix from the Lanxess (Leverkusen, Germany) subsidiary Bond-Laminates, in combination with Durethan, a PA 6 plastic grade from Lanxess.

“It is our great honor to feature our lightweight solution with our Tepex and Durethan in Honda’s latest model of FCV,“ said Martin Klocke, head of technical marketing and business development Tepex Auto in the high performance materials business unit at Lanxess.

“With this application, we not only realized the first rear bumper beam made out of Tepex and Durethan material, we also have the first serial automotive production in the Asia-Pacific region for our composite material Tepex,” said Deniz Guerkan, manager technical marketing and business development Tepex Auto in the high performance materials business unit at Lanxess Hong Kong Limited.

In the development, the materials are uniquely composed in several layers in combination with Tepex dynalite, continuous long glass fiber reinforced thermoplastic composite sheets, and Tepex flowcore, random long glass fiber reinforced composite sheets. This combination enables an easy material flow in the molding process to fill out complicated part geometry, and a greater mechanical strength with a superior characteristic of dynamic energy absorption in such a critical application as a rear bumper beam.

The series production of the Honda rear bumper beam is done by Takagi Seiko Co., a plastic parts manufacturer in Japan, with advanced plastic molding technologies. Sunwa Trading, Lanxess’ distributor for Tepex composite sheets in Japan with long experience in composites, further assisted the development process.

Tepex is a light yet strong composite material made from a thermoplastic matrix and continuous fiber reinforcements such as carbon or glass. It is used worldwide for automobile structural components such as front ends and seat shells, as well as in numerous mass-produced items like smartphones and sporting goods. Tepex boasts cycle times of around 15 to 60 seconds, has reinforcing fibers and thermoplastic base material that provides excellent mechanical properties, and is light enough to reduce component weight by more than 50 percent.