E-innovation power celebrated!

PASSION CREATES INNOVATION: AUDI AG und POLYTEC freuen sich über den renommierten JEC Innovation Award für den BEV-Unterfahrschutz des neuen Audi Q8 e-tron (v.l.n.r: Dr. Alexander Karl, Head of Engineering bei POLYTEC, Dr. Julius Rausch, Vorentwicklung Exterieur bei der AUDI AG und Andre Oppeneer, Projektleiter bei POLYTEC)

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​POLYTEC and AUDI receive prestigious JEC Innovation Award for joint product and process development

JEC World is the world's leading trade fair for composites and their applications and will take place in Paris (F) in April 2023. Every year, the JEC Group awards the prestigious JEC Innovation Awards to innovative and creative projects that exploit the full potential of composites.
This year, AUDI AG and POLYTEC GROUP are jointly honoured with the JEC Innovation Award in the category "AUTOMOTIVE & ROAD TRANSPORTATION - PROCESS".


With the battery underride protection for the Audi Q8 e-tron, POLYTEC SOLUTION FORCE, in cooperation with AUDI AG, has achieved a pioneering achievement for forward-looking lightweight solutions in the field of electromobility. The innovative component combines optimum stability and high bending stiffness with cost-effective series production and thus differentiates itself from previously used technologies.

Light, stable and sustainable: the underbody solution produced by POLYTEC for the Audi Q8 e-tron
​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Copyright: POLYTEC GROUP


The underbody is crucial for protecting the battery of the all-electric Audi Q8 e-tron. Accordingly, the new thermoplastic composite design features exceptional mechanical properties in terms of stability and rigidity. Despite the large dimensions of approx. 2.1 m x 1.4 m, the highly complex component manages with a total weight of only around 23 kilograms, and is thus almost 7 kilograms lighter than its metal predecessor.


During the intensive development phase, the requirements of large-scale production processes were taken into account. The component design combines highly rigid UD tapes (continuous fibre reinforced thermoplastic tapes) with D-LFT (long fibre reinforced thermoplastics) to form a thermoplastic sandwich. To achieve the best flow properties, the UD tapes are heated separately and stacked with the D-LFT compound before the entire sandwich is placed in the compression mould. The horizontal process enables easy insertion of the sandwich as well as possible additional materials in just one step (one-shot process). The highly automated and efficient process chain leads to short cycle times and cost-effective series production.
Due to its balanced property profile in terms of lightweight construction, mechanical performance, sustainability and suitability for large-scale production, this newly developed component design is currently being evaluated for future BEV platforms of the VW Group.​​​​​​​


Efficient production in the one-shot process on high-performance D-LFT press at the POLYTEC site in Roosendaal (NL)


to longevity and ecology

Compared to the predecessor model made of aluminium, the new thermoplastic underbody solution, which primarily protects the battery from mechanical impacts near the ground, also scores in terms of sustainability. This is because the construction, which is around a quarter lighter, contributes to a significant reduction in the CO2 footprint.

On the one hand, the weight reduction leads to an increase in the efficiency of the electric SUV. On the other hand, the chosen composite material with high elasticity and excellent energy absorption ensures increased adaptability to all forces to which a vehicle may be exposed. The underride protection is thus jointly responsible for the longevity of the vehicle and contributes to sustainable electrification and emission reduction in mobility.

Another important premise during the development phase was recyclability, which is ensured by the use of thermoplastic material. Thus, the component can be returned to the material cycle at the end of its useful life and the consumption of fossil resources can be reduced. Last but not least, the highly efficient one-shot production process with only one mould leads to a significant reduction in climate-relevant emissions.


JEC World is the global trade show for composite materials and their applications and will take place in Paris (F) in April 2023.

The JEC Innovation Awards are handed out in 11 categories in the preliminaries of this trade fair. An international jury of recognised experts uses a wide range of criteria to reward cutting-edge, creative projects which demonstrate the full potential of composite materials.

"The development of this sustainable and highly complex underride protection required extensive know-how in terms of engineering and manufacturing. We are very honoured to receive this award, in recognition that POLYTEC is successfully transforming our product portfolio towards electromobility with our state-of-the-art engineering capabilities, creating real product benefits for our customers!"

Peter Bernscher