Which plastic polymers resemble the properties of metals?
Fascination with chemistry
Various applications, for example in automobile construction, require particularly high rigidity and strength of individual components. In some cases, these properties cannot be achieved even with highly filled compounds. In order to still be able to use the advantages of plastics in terms of design freedom and productivity, hybrid material systems made of plastic and metal have been developed. In the 1990s, the technology was developed and spread from a niche technology to an industry standard. LANXESS is one of the pioneers who shaped the development of plastic / metal hybrids. A core application for these hybrids are the so-called front ends - safety-relevant structural components in the front of vehicles that have to withstand high loads. After the first developments of automotive front ends in the 1990s, they are now manufactured in millions of plastic / metal hybrids around the world. We can also find them in automobile pedals and roof bows.
New developments in the field of plastic / metal hybrids are aimed at applications with particularly high requirements in terms of torsional rigidity and strength. A typical example is the dashboard support, the backbone of the entire cockpit of a car. Above all, this must achieve high natural frequencies in order to minimize vibrations such as those caused by the steering wheel.
For example, a current development by LANXESS simplifies the manufacture of plastic / metal composite components. Metallic hollow profiles are functionalized on a standard injection molding machine with the help of plastic. The form fit created in this way enables high forces to be transmitted. It is intended to be used as an instrument panel support.
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