Resins manufacturer Hexion (Columbus, OH, US), which has spent the last few years going by the name Momentive, is back to being called Hexion. Even if the name has changed, the corporate mission remains the same, and at JEC Europe this was evident in several developments on display that focused on capabilities in automotive. Specifically, Hexion is working on materials for resin transfer molding (RTM) and liquid compression molding (LCM). New at the show was EPIKOTE TRAC 06170 epoxy combined with EPIKURE TRAC 06170 curing agent system (see New Products, p. XX). Hexion officials at the show said the material offers a 20-second injection (RTM or LCM) followed by 40-second cure, for a total cycle time of 60 seconds. The material’s optimized Tg, says Hexion, makes this possible.
Also on the Hexion stand was a unique composite suspension coil (see photo), made with EPIKOTE epoxy and developed in cooperation with Sogefi (Milan, Italy) and carmaker Audi. This drop-in replacement for metallic springs on the Audi A6 Avant 2.0 TDI ultra was made via filament winding and trims 4.4 kg from the car.
The company also exhibited a Bakelite phenolic cam carrier (see photo) for Ford Motor Co. as part of the multi-material lightweight vehicle (MMLV) program supported by the US Department of Energy. The carrier, which is typically made with aluminum, was developed by WGS Global Services (Flint, MI, US) and uses chopped carbon fiber in an injection molding process. The material maintains dimensional properties at 200°C and reduces weight by 30%. The application is developmental for now, but Hexion hopes that Ford will adopt it for production use.
Editor PickJEC 2017 – Aiming for Industrialization
The exhibit floor in Paris reflected composites’ move toward high-rate and high-volume production.