Solvay launches release film for wind industry, displays thermoplastic auto component

At JEC World 2019, Solvay jointly displayed a thermoplastic composite steering knuckle and launched VAC-PERF A2400, a next-generation release film for the wind industry.
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At JEC 2019, Solvay (Alpharetta, Ga., U.S.) displayed a jointly developed thermoplastic automotive component with Magneti Marelli (Lombardy, Italy), and launched a next-generation release film for the wind industry.

The automotive component, a steering knuckle prototype designed and manufactured by Magneti Marelli, is the result of a close collaboration between both companies, Solvay says. The steering knuckle’s complex geometry was designed to maximize the properties brought by Solvay’s thermoplastic composites and injection molding materials. It showcases compression molding and overmolding processes and the combination of Solvay’s Amodel PPA thermoplastic compound and EvoliteTM PPA thermoplastic composites, which are temperature-capable products developed specifically for automotive functional applications. This development highlights, Solvay says, how high-performance materials, short cycle time processing methods and a smart part design can be combined to result in structural performance, function integration and weight saving.

“We are proud of our contribution to this prototype. This is a successful application of Solvay
thermoplastic composite technologies which meets the rate and process flexibility expected by automotive manufacturers,” says Gerald Perrin, global automotive director at Solvay Composite Materials Global Business Unit.

“This prototype is the first of its kind in the field of suspensions. By using promising materials and processing technologies, we were able to combine high-performance thermoformed laminates with injection molding to create complex and non-conventional geometries,” says Marco Goia, head of product development at Magneti Marelli Ride Dynamics. “This combination enabled the design of a functionally integrated component including co-molded structural sleeves. Magneti Marelli led the project from concept, using advanced design methodologies, to prototyping and benefited from Solvay’s materials science application and process tuning expertise.”

At JEC World, Solvay also introduced VAC-PERF A2400, its next-generation, high-performance release film for wind energy applications. VAC-PERF A2400 is reportedly compatible with a range of resin systems, from polyesters to epoxies, and has high release properties, the combination of which is meant to make it an alternative to legacy release films.

Benefits of VAC-PERF A2400 include: maximized release properties to reduce tool cleaning operations; a simplified peeling-off process to save time and cost; clean laminates for good surface finish without need for rework; usage flexibility  can be used for resin infusion and prepreg cures; simplified inventory; availability in widths of up to 2 meters to lower kitting costs with a 20-percent reduced assembly time capability; and availability with various perforation types including P3, P16 and P31.

According to Solvay, VAC-PERF A2400 will now be used as part of its VAC-PLY INFUPLY combination product with infusion mesh/breather and release film, improving efficiencies by enabling part manufacturers to focus on value added operations and industrializing production.