Motive Industries Inc. (Calgary, Alberta, Canada), developer of the Kestrel biocomposite electric vehicle, reports that it has begun testing and prototype manufacturing of composite structures for the ca
As the main body of the vehicle is made with biocomposite fiber mats, it is important to build and test several layup configurations to determine the optimal layup for production. The company's goal is to achieve strengths similar to traditionally used composite materials, but at less weight.
Motive says the biocomposite material offers a wide range of benefits, including less skin irritation to those working with the material and a reduced environmental impact. The specific resins and fibers being used have not been identified.
To further reduce the environmental impact, the Kestrel will also feature paint film instead of traditional spray paint. Paint film does not require extensive permits as the sheets are pre developed and no chemicals are used in the application or handling processes.
Motive has adhered the paint film to some of the prototype door panels to ensure the curve in the door panel would not complicate the layup process. Motive says its design team was pleased to see that the paint film formed around the door panel without any issues and will provide an adequate barrier to protect the composite panels. Photos at right show some of the door prototyping steps, including paint film application.