Arkema, Xenia to develop carbon fiber-based compounds

Italy-based Xenia will work with Arkema to develop a carbon fiber-reinforced grade of Arkema's Pebax thermoplastic elastomer.

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Arkema (King of Prussia, PA, US) and Xenia (Vincenza, Italy) reported on March 7 that the companies have signed a cooperation agreement for the development of carbon fiber-reinforced long-chain polyamides, including Arkema's Pebax thermoplastic elastomer. These compounds are expected to find application in sports, optical, and electronics, where toughness and lightness are crucial.

Xenia has developed expertise compounding carbon fibers with thermoplastic polymers that, says Arkema, aligns with the development strategy of Arkema’s Technical Polymers group. In collaboration with Xenia, newly developed Pebax grades will have higher rigidity while keeping the universally recognized features of Pebax TPE. These include enduring elasticity and impact resistance even at extremely low temperature, and also outstanding processability through direct injection molding.

“We will develop a new product portfolio with a focus on three markets. Sports, where we already have a dedicated brand to be recognized by athletes in Pebax Powered, and the other two are optical and consumer electronics. All three are extremely dynamic and fast markets where lightness is a major innovation trend and where Pebax elastomers are the reference high-performance TPE," says Fabien Debaud, global R&D director of the Specialty Polyamides unit of Arkema. "Obviously in the future we will also apply this technology to our other high-performance polymers such as Rilsan [polyamide 11] and Rilsamid [polyamide 12], leaders in the automotive and industrial markets.”