Braskem Takes Polypropylene to the Next Level of Performance in Partnership with WEAV3DĀ® utilizing its Rebar for PlasticsĀ® Lattice Technology

29 September 2023

Braskem (BM&FBOVESPA: BRKM3, BRKM5 and BRKM6; NYSE: BAK; LATIBEX: XBRK), the largest producer of polyolefins in the Americas and a pioneer in industrial-scale biopolymers, has announced an innovative collaboration with WEAV3D Inc., an advanced manufacturing and materials startup. This partnership leverages WEAV3D's thermoplastic composite lattice technology to enhance the performance of Braskem's polypropylene (PP) for structural and automotive applications.

WEAV3D's lattice technology offers the ability to create lightweight PP components that can replace materials like steel. This development is expected to increase the use of PP in automotive applications by simultaneously improving performance, reducing weight, and lowering costs. By combining Braskem PP sheets with WEAV3D's Rebar for Plastics, Braskem aims to enter new structural material markets.

Amanda Zani, Technology Platform Manager at Braskem, expressed enthusiasm about the collaboration, stating, "We're excited to offer our clients new innovations and partnerships around high-performance polypropylene materials utilizing the WEAV3D lattice technology. As the automotive industry continues to roll out new electric vehicle designs, it requires automakers to re-think the vehicle design with cutting-edge performance materials. With significant improvements in lightweighting, reduced costs, and higher material efficiency, combining Braskem's PP portfolio with WEAV3D composite lattices provides a 'win-win' in terms of enhanced material performance and a more sustainable environmental impact, including the integration of natural fiber options."

Key benefits of using WEAV3D's Rebar for Plastics® in combination with Braskem Polypropylene compared to conventional composite organosheets include:

  1. Lightweight: Reduces sheet blank weight by approximately 50% and final part weight by around 20%.
  2. Cost-Effective: Reduces costs by roughly 50%.
  3. Efficient: Increases sheet yield from 25% to 45% by weight, resulting in a 63% reduction in trim waste.

Chris Oberste, President of WEAV3D, praised Braskem as a strong partner in sustainable materials innovation, saying, "Braskem has been a fantastic partner throughout this project and really demonstrated a strong commitment to sustainable materials innovation. Leveraging Braskem's diverse polypropylene portfolio and deep technical expertise, we worked collaboratively with the Braskem team to identify the right combination of Braskem PP and reinforcing lattice material in order to minimize cost and maximize performance while achieving formability and sustainability goals."

Braskem will showcase these innovations at the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) TPO Global Automotive Conference in Troy, Michigan, from October 1-4, 2023. At the conference, they will engage with attendees to discuss the benefits of Braskem and WEAV3D's lattices, targeting leading OEMs, suppliers, and the entire polyolefins value chain community.

Gustavo Lombardi, Braskem's Director of Business Development, will also serve as a Keynote Speaker at the 2023 TPO Global Automotive Conference, presenting "Reducing Carbon Footprint with Performance: The Role of Bio-Based Plastics in Mitigating Climate Change" at 9:15 am on Monday, October 2, 2023.