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CHINAPLAS 
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Drone propellers made of short glass fibre-reinforced Durethan from LANXESS are lighter while offering good strength and rigidity. (Photo: LANXESS AG)
Drone propellers made of short glass fibre-reinforced Durethan from LANXESS are lighter while offering good strength and rigidity. (Photo: LANXESS AG)

In 2017, around three million drones were sold worldwide – almost 40% more than in the previous year, according to market research institute Gartner. Gartner also predicted that drones will be one of the strongest-growing sectors in consumer electronics over the coming years.

In addition, corporate consultants at PwC expected a global market of almost US$130 billion for drone-based services, for example in infrastructure, transport and security. Due to the diverse range of applications that can be carried out using the devices, demands on drones are increasing.

Longer flight time thanks to lightweight solutions

One challenge facing manufacturers is the limited flight time of drones. As well as improving battery capacity and investigating new sources of energy, manufacturers can reduce the energy consumption of drones and thus increase their flight time.

LANXESS's Durethan high-performance plastics are in use for drone propellers but are also suited for drone bodies and landing gear. (Photo: LANXESS AG)LANXESS drew on its experience in the lightweight construction business for the automotive sector and recently announced to offer lightweight solutions for the drone industry using its high-performance plastics.

At CHINAPLAS 2018 this year, the LANXESS High Performance Materials (HPM) business unit presented a range of high-end material solutions, including a drone propeller made of short glass fibre-reinforced Durethan (Polyamide 6).

With its balanced material properties, the injection molded parts are lighter while offering good strength and rigidity. The material is resistant against aging by UV rays and therefore well-suited for use outdoors. As a result, drone propellers made of LANXESS plastics convince with their attractive appearance and their longevity.

As well as wings and propellers, the high-performance plastics can also be used for drone bodies and landing gear. The materials help to reduce the weight of the aerial vehicle and thus enable longer flight times, as well as reducing vibrations and noise.

Moreover, the materials improve impact resistance, reduce any interference of metal materials with radio signals, simplify the production process and increase the flexibility of the product structure design.

In light of the rapid development of the high-tech industry and the increasing popularity of electric drives, LANXESS sees significant, additional potential for the use of its products. Based on LANXESS products PA6, PA66 and PBT, we have developed innovative solutions to meet the demand for high-quality products,” said Dr. Axel Tuchlenski, Head of Global Product and Application Development at LANXESS’s business unit High Performance Materials.

The company’s high-performance plastics are used in a wide range of areas, such as in electrical and electronic applications, in lightweight design, in charging equipment, battery solutions, sensors for automated driving, in motor housings and in e-mobility infrastructure, such as charging stations.

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