Lightweight material: self-extinguishing

Röchling Automotive has found the key to a lock that no one had previously been able to open. The engineers were faced with the question of how porous LWRT plastic materials (low-weight reinforced thermoplastics) could be used in environments where dangerous flammable media is present – for instance in the engine compartment. The Röchling engineers found an answer.

While it is true that gasoline or other combustible media shouldn’t be in places they don’t belong, legislature makes laws that consider these types of unlikely events. Technical regulations that precisely regulate the spread of flames are rooted in this logic.

The newly developed Syntralite TM  lightweight materials will be used in exactly such environments in the future. In the event of a fire, it has self-extinguishing properties. But it gets better: Röchling Automotive, as a lightweight and acoustics specialist, has a true novelty in addition to Syntralite TM  – an acoustically effective lightweight material that is not damaged by fire, even if it was soaked in gasoline beforehand.

Optimally Combining Materials

For exhaust system covers and side engine-insulations, Röchling Automotive has already combined LWRT materials with aluminum. From there, though, it was still a huge leap to the newly developed, weight-optimized, and acoustically-effective solution with thin perforated aluminum film on both sides. The right combination of materials was first established when doing detail work on parameters like  process capacity, low weight per unit area, good heat dissipation, and high heat reflection.

The result of this detail work is impressive: The proven, flexible Softlofting TM  procedure from Röchling Automotive, which plays a prominent role in the manufacture of noise absorbing components, also works with the new material. With that, the key to excellent acoustic and lightweight  properties was found. The material does not burn, mechanical parameters can still be set selectively, and, thanks to a low-pressure press procedure, it is compact while retaining excellent resistance.