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Application of continuous fiber reinforced thermoplastic composites in automobile

Views: 47     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2022-09-12      Origin: Site

Application of continuous fiber reinforced thermoplastic composites in automobile

With the improvement of energy-saving and emission reduction requirements and the acceleration of vehicle electrification, automotive lightweight has become the development trend of the automotive industry, promoting the application of lightweight materials including high-strength steel, aluminum alloy, engineering plastics and composite materials in the automotive field.

Continuous fiber reinforced thermoplastic composite (CFRTP) is a new type of thermoplastic composite with high strength, high rigidity, high toughness and recyclable. Compared with steel and aluminum alloy, CFRTP has comparable strength, lighter weight and higher energy absorption capacity. Compared with thermosetting composite materials, it is easier to process, and environmentally friendly and recyclable. It has great application potential in the lightweight design of automobiles. It can replace some metal materials and high-end polymer materials and be applied in the structural parts and semi-structural parts of the body such as seat back, front end module, door inner panel and bumper.

1. BMW ix Front coaming and rear window frame components

Back in 2010, BMW unveiled its first heavily composite electric passenger car during the JEC World show, and the latter i3, i8 and 7 Series also heavily used carbon fiber composites.

The iX is another step forward in the BMW Group's all-electric design, which relies heavily on composite materials. In iX, BMW combines the Carbon Core of the 7 Series with the all-carbon fiber body structure of the previous BMW i Series. It uses a multi-material body structure, which BMW calls the Carbon Cage.

The CFRP components of the side frame, rain gusts, roof frame, front coiling and rear window frame combine to form a "Carbon Cage" that reduces weight and improves vehicle flexibility while reinforcing the body. The front coaming and rear window frame components are made from continuous fiber reinforced thermoplastic (CFRTP) in a new way.

The hybrid construction of CFRP-CFRTP reduces weight by 5 kg compared to the same steel components while increasing rigidity, while achieving the minimalist look desired by BMW, thus increasing the sense of roominess in the passenger compartment.

Ii. Battery support for Mercedes-Benz S-Class driver assistance system

In the advanced automated driver assistance system structural parts of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Lanxess Tepex® continuous fiber-reinforced thermoplastic composite is used to manufacture the battery holder, which provides power for the "intelligent driving" of the system.

The bow stand is manufactured by Poeppelmann Kunststoff-Technik in Loenn, Germany. The base material is polypropylene Tepex® dynalite 104-RGUD600(4)/47%. The manufacturing method is a two-step process combining composite molding (overhang) with injection molding.

The use of composite materials can reduce the weight of the finished product by up to 40 percent compared to metal, and the injection molding process can be integrated, which not only makes it easier to install the bracket, but also reduces the need for transport. These processes help reduce manufacturing costs. And the composite material is electrically insulated to the metal parts of the body and battery, greatly reducing the risk of short circuit. Components made of metal require additional measures to prevent short circuits.

Third, the load compartment on the Mercedes-Benz S-Class

A new application of Lanxess Tepex dynalite continuous fiber-reinforced thermoplastic composites is the manufacture of load compartments mounted on Mercedes-Benz S-Class sedans to accommodate 48V on-board power batteries. The composite component, which can withstand high mechanical stress and is about 30 percent lighter than comparable sheet metal components, prevents batteries from penetrating or damaging the recessed walls in the event of a collision while ensuring the tightness of the load compartment.

The part is a hybrid molding process, with the billet made from Tepex dynalite 102-RG600 (2) based on polyamide 6 and reinforced with two layers of continuous glass fiber fabric. Lanxess Durethan polyamide 6 is used for injection molded fasteners and stiffeners.

In addition to the S sedan, the Tepex dynalite is also used in the load bay of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class to accommodate the on-board power battery. Lightweight structural materials, which are much lighter than metal, have great potential for future applications in electric vehicle safety devices, complete battery system casings, or loading space components available under engines.

Four, Dongfeng automobile light truck toolbox

SABIC has partnered with Dongfeng Motor, a major truck manufacturer in China, to develop a new composite plastic hybrid solution for the production of rugged and lightweight in-vehicle toolkits. The application is a blend of SABIC's STAMAX™ long glass fiber polypropylene resin and a continuous glass fiber composite laminate insert, produced using a two-color injection molding process. Compared with steel parts of similar design, the weight of finished parts produced by this scheme is reduced by 30%, and the production efficiency of Dongfeng Motor is effectively improved.

SABIC's hybrid solution combines STAMAX resin with a thermoformed composite insert made from a unidirectional glass fiber-reinforced polypropylene strip produced by Jiangsu Qiyi Technology, a continuous glass fiber-reinforced thermoplastic composite manufacturer.

The laminate inserts are preheated before being placed in the mold and are injected with STAMAX resin in a single operation for two-color injection molding. This insert improves stiffness and strength in key areas of the part, resulting in a thin-walled geometric design that reduces part weight. The plastic composite solution reduces the weight of truck toolkits by approximately 30% (4-6kg) while maintaining the stiffness, toughness and strength required for applications.

In conclusion, high performance and low density continuous fiber reinforced thermoplastic composites have become one of the most promising materials in automotive lightweight, and are widely used in automotive semi-structures and structural parts. In terms of materials, foreign continuous fiber composite industry is becoming more and more perfect and its application is relatively mature, while the products of relevant domestic enterprises are gradually recognized by automobile manufacturers. From the perspective of process, mass automation and composite production technology of multi-process materials are in line with the development trend of lightweight and integrated design in the future automobile industry.

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