Lightweight composites using TPU

Maezio is the brand name for Covestro’s new continuous fibre-reinforced thermoplastic composites (CFRTP). The material is based on continuous carbon or glass fibres impregnated with polycarbonate, TPUs or other thermoplastic resins. From these components, Covestro produces uni-directional reinforced tapes and sheets at the production site in Markt Bibart in South Germany for further processing by customers.

Lightweight and very thin laptop covers with new optical surface effects are a potential application for CFRTPs.

The products are attracting interest in such diverse segments as the electrical and electronics industry, the automotive business, household appliance manufacturers and furniture producers, medical technology, sports goods manufacturers, shoe producers and the luggage industry. Haier has launched an air conditioner under its Casarte brand, which utilises Maezio for the main housing of the product. Chinese athletic wear startup Bmai has developed light and strong marathon shoes using Maezio composite materials.

Covestro said that so far a further propagation of these composites was hampered by a lack of cost-effective and scalable manufacturing processes. Besides that it is difficult to integrate them into high-volume products – however, this is about to change with Maezio composites, said the company. The products are suitable for mass production and can be thermoformed with existing thermoforming tools at high yield rates and low cycle times. Other production technologies such as hybrid injection moulding, automated UD tape laying and automated fibre placement can also be easily integrated. As thermoplastic composites, Maezio products can be recycled.