Bayer MaterialScience buys composite materials specialist

Through a business acquisition in southern Germany, Bayer MaterialScience has expanded its position on the future-oriented market for composite materials. The German company recently concluded the takeover of Thermoplast Composite GmbH (TCG) in Langenfeld, near Nuremberg, a technology leader specialising in the production of thermoplastic fibre composites. Bayer MaterialScience will use the acquisition to expand its range of products for important industries.

The company intends to market composites made from continuous fibre-reinforced thermoplastics (composites). This is a new class of particularly thin and lightweight materials, whose properties offer superior performance in existing solutions based on aluminium, for example.

The takeover of TCG gives Bayer MaterialScience access to innovative technology know-how as well as key patents and facilities. All employees are to be retained. Furthermore, it plans to expand TCG’s production capacity, the first step being to expand production in the Nuremberg metropolitan region. Capacities in other regions will be added subsequently to optimally supply customers.

Bayer MaterialScience is already active in the development and marketing of composite solutions based on polyurethane systems. "We are seeing significant demand and growth opportunities for composites made from thermoplastic materials such as polycarbonate," said Dr. Markus Steilemann, member of the company’s Executive Committee and Head of the Polycarbonates Business Unit. "By getting into the development and production of the corresponding composites, we want to become one of the driving forces in this industry. We expect promising opportunities above all in the IT, automotive and transportation industries, as well as in consumer goods, which would further strengthen our position."

Bayer MaterialScience has long been supplying numerous industries with products and application solutions based on polycarbonate and its associated blends. This material is extremely lightweight, strong, freely formable, easy to process and can be recycled multiple times. The company has also been working for some time now on the development of polycarbonate composites. "By acquiring TCG, we have now filled the last gaps in our processing technology know-how," said Dr. Olaf Zöllner, Head of Polycarbonate Applications Development for Europe.

Bayer MaterialScience believes that polycarbonate composites are highly suited to such things as fabricating premium housings for the IT industry. These composites are an answer to the trend towards smaller dimensions and an impression of quality. And there is a number of additional advantages. "Hardware made of polycarbonate composites feels like metal, but is significantly lighter," said Zöllner. He further points out the good shapeability of the material and its quality look and feel. What is more, the material offers cost advantages in processing.

In the automotive industry, for example, such composites help to make motor vehicles lighter and more efficient. "In this segment, we think polycarbonate composites are capable of significantly reducing weight over solutions made of aluminium," Zöllner added.

Dr. Herbert Börger and Ingolf Knaup, managing partners of TCG, see great benefits for their company in the partnership with Bayer MaterialScience. TCG could now more quickly and comprehensively realize the industrial manufacturing and broad-based market introduction of unidirectional thermoplastic advanced composites based on the innovative and patented proprietary technology platform. Consequently, the purchase would be the next logical step in TCG’s successful development.

Thermoplast Composite GmbH was established in 2007 and currently has twelve employees. In addition to performance fibre composites with a thermoplastic matrix, the company also specialises in ultra-lightweight foams and engineering services.


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