By using Asahi Kasei's LENCEN™ to replace metals, we are able to contribute to the reduction of weight, leading to an increase in the distance traveled by automobiles.

What is LENCEN™ (c-GFRTP)?

LENCEN™ (c-GFRTP) is a composite material formed by impregnating glass fiber textiles or similar fabrics with thermoplastic resin, then solidifying to yield a sheet-shaped product. Continuous glass fiber reinforced thermoplastic is also known as a composite, organo-sheet or prepreg. 

In English, the acronym for Continuous Glass Fiber Reinforced thermoplastic is c-GFRTP (the first c is lowercase), but there are other notations such as GFRTP and GFRP.


At present, Asahi Kasei is considering bringing to market a prepreg product formed by stacking layers of a continuous glass fiber textile with polyamide-66 (PA66) films, as well as additional products based on this idea.


Light weight and high physical properties

In order to realize further weight reduction of automobiles, we are studying the mechanism of the interfacial strength development of resin and glass fiber, and have developed a technology to improve high strength, high stiffness, and high impact.


We intend to propose this material as a material that can provide collision safety and light weight effects because it has tensile strength and impact properties equal to or greater than those of metals, and can also contribute to improved reliability and fuel efficiency.

Cross-sectional SEM photograph after cutting and high-load polishing

Manufacturing process for LENCEN™

LENCEN™ is produced via the following procedure.


1.Layering: Layers of glass fiber fabric or other reinforcing fibers are stacked together with resin-film layers.

2.Heating/pressurizing: The layer stack is heated and pressurized in a press, causing the resin to melt.

3.Impregnation: The molten resin soaks through glass fibers.

4.Finally, the product is cooled to solidify the resin, yielding sheet of material ready for molding.


What is prepreg?

Prepreg is a term used to refer to sheet of molding material manufactured via the impregnation process described above. The term organo-sheet is also used.


The combination of materials used to produce prepreg may be chosen in many ways. For the resin films, common choices include thermoplastic resins such as polyamide or polypropylene; thermosetting resins may also be used. For the reinforcing fibers, common choices include glass fibers and carbon fibers, which may be woven into continuous fiber textiles or aligned in uni-directional (UD) configurations; non-woven (random) configurations of chopped fibers are also used.


The advantages of prepreg LENCEN™ formed from glass-fiber textiles with polyamide-66 (PA66) resins include high strength and impact absorption due to PA66 and the glass-fiber textiles. Also, because PA66 are thermoplastic resins, they can be combined with injection molding of materials of similar types (hybrid of composite and injection molding, composite sheet overmolded with injection molding). This allows formation of complex-shaped parts such as ribs and flanges, offering the possibility of cost reductions thanks to improved component rigidity and better integration with neighboring components.


Proposal to EV battery cases

Battery cases in electric vehicles are typically made from metals such as steel or aluminum. The goal of reducing component weight to extend vehicle travel distance suggests the possibility of switching to resin materials, but typical resins cannot offer the required thermal resistance; also, cost reduction is a perennial issue.


Advantages of LENCEN™(c-GFRTP)


1.Lightweight: Specific gravity approximately 1/4 that of steel.

(Specific gravity:  LENCEN™ 1.9 Steel  7.9 Aluminum  2.7)

2.Heat-resistant: No holes appeared in burning tests after 30 minutes at 1000°C.

3.Cost-effective: Cost reduction can be possible through integration or reduction of components

   ■Upper cover: Potential reduction in need for anti-rust paint and thermal insulation.

   ■Lower case: Potential reduction in need for undercover.



Bumper beam, brake pedal

Metals such as iron and aluminum are used in parts like bumper beams and brake pedals, leaving many possibilities for weight reduction.


These components require materials with excellent strength, stiffness, impact, and durability. We believe that LENCEN™ that combine these characteristics are suitable. Iron bumper beams require post-processing, such as bending or welding with separate parts, but this material can reduce weight, as well as the number of processes and parts.



For more information on LENCEN™ (c-GFRTP) , click here.