Coupling Thermosets and Thermoplastics – Bringing Racetrack Performance to the Roads

The CONEXUS Technology

Austrian KTM Technologies – specialised in mobility concepts, lightweight and performance technologies – have been developing the CONEXUS technology over the last years. CONEXUS is a coupling layer that allows to directly bond thermoset and thermoplastic components thanks to its specifically formulated chemical composition.


Applied to a thermoset laminate, the CONEXUS technology results in a surface with thermoplastic properties, allowing for direct overmoulding with thermoplastic elements such as ribs, fasteners, and local reinforcements in form of PA6, or even the possibility for ultrasonic welding.

Coupling Sustainable Materials

Striving for a more sustainable solution to apply their new technology, KTM Technologies has collaborated with Swiss expert in sustainable lightweighting solutions, Bcomp. The brake cover of a motocross bike has been designed from the ground up to make full use of the best traits from both the thermoset and thermoplastic worlds. Bcomp’s technical ampliTex™ flax prepregs are used to create a lightweight yet stiff structure. The cured flax fibre composite part with the CONEXUS coupling layer, which is produced at the partner company ALBA tooling & Engineering GmbH, is then completed with reinforcement ribs, fasteners, and edge protection in the form of PA6 that is over-moulded in a special tool at KTM’s partner Altendorfer Spritzgusswerk GmbH.


Overmoulding the edges of the flax fibre composite elements protects them against potential interlaminar damage caused by impacts or flying debris while also providing a pleasing appearance. Compared to a traditional, injection moulded brake cover, this new version saves weight, shows reduced vibrations while it also significantly reduces the CO2 footprint thanks to the CO2 neutral flax fabrics. The coupling layer also gives the opportunity to separate the different materials at the end of product life and recycle the PA6.


Using Bcomp’s technical ampliTex™ fabrics rather than a standard carbon- and glass fibre hybrid layup, reduces the CO2 footprint of the thermoset components by roughly 82%. In the event of a crash or fatal impact on the brake cover, the flax fibres show a ductile fracture behaviour – completely opposite to the sharp shattering and splintering of carbon fibres that poses a risk to the track side safety personal as well as fellow riders with an increased risk for punctures. Significant safety improvements can also be observed at the production stage where flax fibres are pleasant to work with and don’t pose any risk to the worker’s health with zero toxic fibre dust.

Aiming for Full Circularity

The current version of the brake cover still relies on traditional epoxy resins for the thermoset and virgin PA6 for the thermoplastic elements. With the current advancements in the development of fully biobased epoxy resins and completely biobased PA6 already being available, KTM Technologies is looking at creating a fully biobased version of the brake cover. While some work will be necessary to adapt the formulation of the CONEXUS coupling layer to play nicely with the biobased resin and PA6, the potential for such a solution is significant. At the parts end-of-life the thermoset and thermoplastic components can easily be separated thanks to the CONEXUS foil. PA6 can be recycled and reused to produce new parts while the flax fibre composites with biobased matrix can be used as a source of renewable energy via highly efficient thermal energy recovery in state-of-the-art waste-to-energy cogeneration plants. In this case, KTM’s CONEXUS technology can be regarded as a key player, enabling a fully circular product.

Taking Racetrack Performance to Large-Scale Road Applications

Looking at the bigger picture, this brake cover serves as a demonstrator piece and perfectly showcases the technology and its market readiness, but the real break-through happens in the form of the ongoing technology transfer from race to road. What works perfectly on the small scale of the brake cover can well be transferred to other applications in the mobility market. With the possibility of adding local reinforcements, attachment points, and edge protection to thermoset composite parts in a highly efficient process might be paving the path for natural fibre bodyworks made from ampliTex™ in large-scale production.


Another possibility, provided by the co-cured coupling layer, are class-A body panels that can be manufactured with fixation elements directly on the back of the part via injection molding. With this material combination, the use of additional gluing steps is needless.

About KTM Technologies

Mobility beyond existing solutions. Innovative lightweight  construction. Applied technologies.


Three factors that KTM Technologies deals with every day, to develop reliable and safe solutions and innovative possibilities. Expanded with a deep understanding of the entire vehicle, the highly qualified employees at KTM Technologies solve challenges in many industries – from the first idea to serial production. As a specialist in concept development, KTM Technologies GmbH has specialised in mobility concepts, high-performance and lightweight technologies.

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Recent News


May 25, 2023

McLaren Racing’s Circular F1 Car Project

McLaren Racing just published their newest Sustainability Report for 2022 that goes into detail on all their efforts to become more sustainable on all levels while still pursuing the highest level of performance. Since 2020, Bcomp has been collaborating with McLaren Racing and we are incredibly proud to be developing our natural fibre composite technologies for more circular bodywork with one of the most successful teams in motorsport history. “Now is the time to level the playing field so teams no longer have to choose between investing in car performance and investing in sustainability. It’s an impossible choice.”  - Zak Brown, Chief Executive Officer, McLaren Racing A significant part of McLaren Racing's sustainability effort is centered around the circular F1 car project. In 2022 they started a project to assess the sustainability impacts of their F1 constructor activities. Considering that the materials and processes they use to construct their cars make up 36% of their GHG footprint, makes this project an essential lever in reaching McLaren Racing's net zero target. In 2022, McLaren Racing also continued to work with  Bcomp to design more circular bodywork. A keel panel, constructed from flax, was run in Friday testing on the McLaren car at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The successful test demonstrated that the panel could be used on the car in future races. The successful collaboration between Bcomp and McLaren Racing continues to open up new possibilities for our ampliTex™ and powerRibs™ natural fibre solutions to make the highest-performing F1 cars more sustainable without sacrificing performance. In the past, our bio-based alternatives to carbon fibre have already been successfully trialled and raced in Lando's seat, bodywork and pit-stop equipment. We are excited to continue looking for more opportunities to use our bio-based natural fibre composite technologies at the highest level of motorsports together with McLaren Racing. “Our mission to ‘set the standard for high performance in sport’ applies to sustainability as much as it applies to our on-track performance.” - Kim Wilson, Director of Sustainability, McLaren Racing More about McLaren Racing's use of natural fibre composites for a circular F1 car: McLaren Racing's full Sustainability Report 2022 McLaren Goes Racing With Bcomp All images © McLaren Racing Have a question or want to stay in touch? Contact us now


May 23, 2023

Four Motors – 20 Years of Sustainable Rebellion

Combining Performance and Sustainable Technologies for a Cleaner Future Four Motors, the pioneering German motorsport team, is celebrating 20 years of pushing the boundaries of sustainability and innovation in GT racing. Since its founding in 2003, Four Motors has remained at the forefront of eco-friendly advancements, championing the use of renewable and recycled resources in motorsports. Driven by a passion for both motorsports and the environment, Four Motors has consistently sought to inspire positive change, both on and off the track. By working closely with leading partners, the team has made significant strides in advancing sustainable mobility, setting itself apart from other teams in the motorsport industry. With its specially configured ‘Bioconcept-Cars, Four Motors has competed in endurance races around the world, demonstrating efficient and effective use of state-of-the-art renewable technologies and advanced recycling processes. 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May 12, 2023

Melker of Sweden Kayaks With ampliTex™ Launching in North America

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Apr 20, 2023

Sabelt – Driving Sustainability in Car Seats

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