Huntsman Advanced Materials (The Woodlands, Texas and Basel, Switzerland) reported on March 13 that its Araldite epoxy is being used by the BMW Group (Munich, Germany) to manufacture structural composite parts on the new BMW i3 in volume production.
Huntsman’s materials are being used to produce the side frame as well other composite parts which are then assembled to form the BMW i3’s Life module, also called the passenger cell.
Structural body components on the i3 are being manufactured using high-pressure resin transfer molding (HP- RTM). The process involves making 3-D dry carbon stack preforms using Araldite LT 3366 as a binder powdered on the surface of the reinforcements. This helps to maintain correct fiber alignment and geometry during automated manipulation and positioning of the dry preform into the mold.
Huntsman’s epoxy RTM system Araldite LY 3585/Hardener XB 3458 is then injected at high pressure into the mold. Araldite LY 3585/Hardener XB 3458 is fast-reacting and can cure in five minutes at 100°C/212°F.
Huntsman’s materials will also be used on the second model in the ‘i’ line-up of plug-in cars from BMW when the i8 sports coupe goes into production this year.