Climate protection, circular economy and energy efficiency as well as the use of bio-based and renewable raw materials are also being promoted at Lanxess. The aim is to decouple its production from fossil raw material sources and conserve resources.
One good example of this is a new product in the Tepex range of continuous-fiber-reinforced thermoplastic composites of Lanxess AG, Cologne/Germany. In this process, a fabric made of flax is combined with bio-based polylactic acid as a matrix material. In this way, it was possible to develop a composite material made entirely from natural resources.
Flax fibers have a lower density than glass fibers. The composites made with these fibers are thus noticeably lighter in weight than their glass-fiber-reinforced counterparts. The flax fibers are used in the form of continuous-fiber reinforced fabrics. This enables the bio-composites to demonstrate the high mechanical performance, which is based chiefly on the continuous fibers arranged in particular directions. The weight-specific stiffness of the bio-composite is comparable to that of the equivalent glass-fiber-reinforced material variants.
The new bio-composite material can be used in automobiles, e.g. in the production of interior parts, or in electronics, e.g. in the production of housing components.