BASEL, Switzerland - One of two research and development projects singled out for recognition by Ciba this year is Ciba® XYMARA™ CarboProtect, a new light stabilizer that greatly extends the application scope for carbon-fiber-reinforced materials (CFRMs).
Ciba XYMARA CarboProtect allows the thickness of the essential protective coating of CFRMs to be reduced, cutting down their weight. This greatly extends their application scope, making them highly suitable for multiple uses in sectors such as transportation. Furthermore, the protective coating layer, which formerly had to be opaque, can now remain transparent, thereby exposing the weave pattern of the carbon fibers and opening up a wide array of new design options.
“CFRMs are distinguished by their very high strength and their low weight,” explained Martin Riediker, Chief Innovation Officer at Ciba. “This makes them extremely desirable for high-performance items such as cars, aircraft, boats and wind turbines. However, as they are not inherently resistant to light, they require a protective coating layer. With its light-stabilizing action, XYMARA CarboProtect allows the thickness of this protective coating layer to be substantially reduced, thus further cutting down the weight of the materials. The lower the weight, the greater the saving of fuel and energy.”
Since XYMARA CarboProtect prevents light-induced degradation, the protective coating layer of CFRMs no longer has to be pigmented; it can remain transparent, and the exposed weave used as a design highlight. “Items made of CFRMs, such as car components, high-end luggage, skis and snow boards, can feature unique weaves that identify them with a specific brand,” said Riediker. “Furthermore, CFRMs have an accommodating black base that lends itself to enhancement through tinting or effects such as a sparkling or satin finish. So the sky’s the limit as far as design is concerned.”