Nonwovens in lightweight construction

ReicoTec: New fiber strengthening plastic

Back to Research & Development

What is it completely impossible to manufacture from nonwovens? We posed this question in 2009 during an innovation workshop attended by all Reicofil employees. The answer was: A bicycle. But what if a bicycle was made of lightweight material and we were able to manufacture a new lightweight material with nonwovens? A new development project was born. Today, the first visible results are available: A new fiber-strengthened plastic, a suitable manufacturing process, and the first prototypes - for example, a bicycle seat.

ReicoTec
Semi-finished product from nonwovens and reinforced fibers.

ReicoTec is the first lightweight material on the market to combine reinforced fibers and nonwovens. In contrast to organic sheets, ReicoTec remains unconsolidated until it is subsequently processed into finished components, which means it can be offered as endless roll goods.

The advantages of ReicoTec

  • Low manufacturing costs and high productivity
  • Can be offered as unconsolidated roll goods
  • Good drapability due to the open nonwoven structure
  • Air can escape during the impregnation process
  • Form and impregnation processes run simultaneously
  • Almost every thermoplastic material can be processed
  • Better recycling when using TP fibers (single material system)


The new manufacturing process
Consolidate and form in one step.

Manufacture of the ReicoTec fiber-reinforced plastic using the meltblown process
The ReicoTec semi-finished product is manufactured inline in a single production step with our proven meltblown process: The meltblown nonwoven is produced directly from both sides on the reinforced fibers and finally wound up unconsolidated as a three layer sandwich structure. The low-viscosity polymers to be processed are, according to present knowledge, polypropylene, polyethylene, polyester, polyamide, polyurethane, polyphenylene sulphide, and polycarbonate.

Subsequent processing of the finished component in the double diaphragm process
The double diaphragm process is one of several possibilities to consolidate and form ReicoTec into a finished component in a single step. Thanks to the air permeability of the nonwoven, the final product has significantly fewer air pockets (flaws).


Prototypes
Possible areas of application

ReicoTec is suitable for many different areas of application. At present, we are developing different demonstrators for test purposes.

Automotive

Demonstrator of different geometries of an engine hood. Demonstrator of different geometries of an engine hood.

Material combinations

  1. Glass fiber in a polypropylene matrix
  2. Carbon fiber in polyamide matrix

Sport

Bicycle seat made of different material combinations. Bicycle seat made of different material combinations.

Material combinations

  1. Carbon fiber in polypropylene matrix
  2. Carbon fiber in polyamide matrix
  3. Glass fiber in polypropylene matrix

Safety

Protection cap of a safety boot made of different material combinations. Protection cap of a safety boot made of different material combinations.

Material combinations

  1. Carbon fiber in polyamide matirx
  2. Carbon fiber in polypropylene matrix
  3. Glass fiber in polyamide matrix

Prozess
Pressverfahren

Partner
HBW Gubesch Thermoforming

Process
Double diaphragm process

Partner
FST Troisdorf / IKV Aachen

Process
Pressure molding process

Partner
Karodur

Your contact

Careers

Desiree Aringhoff

Human Resources

+49 2241 23510-169 personal@reifenhauser.com

Research & Development

Detlef Frey

Head of Research & Development

+49 2241 93261-942 detlef.frey@reicofil.com

Sales

Markus Müller

Sales Director

+49 2241 93261-840 +49 2241 93261-577 markus.mueller@reicofil...

Service

Irfan Altuntop

Service Director

+49 2241 93261-617 service@reicofil.com

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