News Release

INEOS Styrolution presents StyLight at K 2016 – a new generation of thermoplastic composites


Frankfurt, Germany

  • StyLight* provides a perfect combination of structural and aesthetic excellence
  • The new styrenic copolymer composite is the latest achievement of the INEOS Styrolution research network
  • StyLight* represents a robust lightweight solution with outstanding surface quality for automotive interior and other wide ranging applications

INEOS Styrolution, the global leader in styrenics, will present StyLight*, its first thermoplastic composite based on styrenic polymers, at K 2016, 19 - 26 October 2016, Düsseldorf. The stiffness, strength and impact strength of StyLight* is exceeding most of today’s advanced (PA6 or PC based) composites for woven glass reinforced thermoplastics on the market. This, along with aesthetics, processability and dimensional stability, makes StyLight* a superior high-performance product for a wide range of applications.

The new styrenic copolymer composite has been developed by INEOS Styrolution with the support of research institutes Neue Materialien Fürth GmbH as well as Neue Materialien Bayreuth GmbH who joined INEOS Styrolution’s research network in 2013. StyLight* sets the brand name of a new generation of thermoplastic composites which proves that styrene-copolymers represent a promising new candidate for composite matrices combining structural and aesthetic excellence.

Today, fiber reinforced thermoplastics are gaining growing importance in various industries due to their lightweight potential, high freedom of design, applicability and efficiency in mass production. Apart from their exceptional mechanical performance, however, composite thermoplastic parts currently based on semi-crystalline polymer matrices (PA, PP) usually allow only a limited surface quality.

In contrast, StyLight* delivers an excellent mechanical performance profile in its stiffness, strength, and impact strength that is on a par with or even better than today’s most advanced (PA6 or PC based) thermoplastic composites in the market place for woven glass reinforced thermoplastics.

StyLight* production processes ensure highest quality and low cycle times, as complex parts can be produced in a hybrid production process: The thermoplastic composite sheets can then be thermoformed, back-injection-molded and decorated in just one processing step. At the same time, the lower shrinkage during the consolidation step of the styrenic copolymer matrix, based on a modified SAN, reduces the surface roughness or “waviness” significantly, offering a superior surface quality. In the end, this makes StyLight* a robust and versatile composite solution, combining the best qualities from both worlds: structural and aesthetic excellence.

Notably, the new material offers a thickness reduction of 50 to 70% compared to injection-molded parts resulting in a weight reduction of 40 to 50% by square meter. Because of its characteristics, StyLight* is specifically targeting semi-structural applications in automotive interior including seating modules, lower consoles, instrument clusters and tailgate modules but is also an attractive solution for Electronics (e.g. back covers of mobile devices), medical industry (e.g. prostheses, orthoses) or high performance sport equipment (e.g. bicycle parts, drones applications). Its surface property allows a wide range of decorative solutions from printing over foil lamination up to conventional painting. “First very successful tests achieved a decorated surface on StyLight* in one single manufacturing step”, confirms Pierre Juan, Composite Project director at INEOS Styrolution. The composite was covered and decorated during the compression phase directly inside the mold.

A first demonstration of this new styrenic copolymer composite and its characteristics can be viewed at the INEOS Styrolution booth, hall5, booth C24, K 2016, Düsseldorf.

*Trademark application pending