Solvay has acquired EPIC Polymers’ long-fiber thermoplastics (LFT) technology to complement its offering of high performance lightweighting materials and gain access to metal replacement of larger automotive semi-structural parts.
Privately-owned EPIC Polymers GmbH, based in Kaiserslautern, Germany, has developed an innovative technology to reinforce high performance thermoplastic polymers with long glass fibers. Demand-led growth for these sophisticated tailored materials offering superior mechanical and thermal properties, coupled with high impact resistance, strength and stiffness at elevated temperatures, is driven by the need to reduce fuel consumption and lower CO2 emissions.
“Having this technology is an important step in the expansion of Solvay Specialty Polymers’ broad offering of materials that are simultaneously light and ultra-performing. We will be able to provide larger semi-structural parts for the automotive sector, our key market, and develop expertise to apply LFT technology to core polymers including KetaSpire PEEK and AvaSpire PAEK, providing further possibilities for metal replacement in other markets such as transportation,” says Augusto Di Donfrancesco, President of Solvay’s Specialty Polymers Global Business Unit.
Solvay Specialty Polymers’ products replace metal in an array of demanding automotive under-the-hood components such as hot air ducts, powertrains, engine control units, oil and water modules and conduits, while LFT are typically used to make interior/exterior semi-structural parts.
In addition to PEEK and PAEK polymers, the LFT technology will be applied to Solvay’s Amodel PPA and Ryton PPS portfolio of products and Technyl polyamide 6.6 (PA6.6) range.