In addition to being lightweight for gas efficiency, high-performance composite materials for the transport sector should have the potential to be used in fast manufacturing procedures. Presently, production volumes tend to be restricted to a few hundred or a few thousand products per year for aerospace or recreations automobile applications. A project changed that by developing two brand new high-volume materials for carbon fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) components for vehicles. The first developed system was advanced polyurethane (PU) thermoset matrix materials that showed improved mechanical overall performance and reduced period times whenever compared with the many frequently utilized epoxy matrix. Replacing this traditional matrix system with PU also enabled combining fast curing with high toughness and a large glass change temperature. Addition of nanoparticles in PU allowed further improvements in processing – reduced resin viscosity and effect kinetics – as well as in thermal and electric properties. Consortium partners built demonstrators making use of this brand new material in structural parts of a vehicle. These included the inner bonnet, rear seat back panel, and the B-pillar between the front door and the back home. Another breakthrough was to hybridise self-reinforced composites (SRCs) – polypropylene (PP) and polyamide – with carbon fibres. The task then followed a number of techniques to develop two SRC versions. In the very first instance, a little quantity of carbon fibres permitted SRC stiffness to increase without reducing toughness. In the 2nd instance, bigger quantities resulted in increased toughness, with rigidity remaining large. Reduced production times were accomplished through the thermoforming procedure.
The advanced materials produced outcome in quick cycle times, showing unique promise for cost-effective, higher-volume manufacturing of high-performance CFRP parts.