Hennecke (Sankt Augustin, Germany) will present a lightweight roof and a carbon seat shell to show how ultra-short cycle times and an optimized overall process allow high-quality fiber composite parts to be produced economically on a large scale. The lightweight roof, developed by Fehrer Composite Components for the new smart fortwo, consists of a material mix of polyurethane, glass fiber and paper honeycomb and is coated with a thermoplastic outer skin. It provides the same stability as the series roof of its predecessor while being 30% lighter. Compared to traditional composite parts, the individual layers are not bonded in a multi-step process, but in a single operation.
Another part on display at Hennecke's booth will be the seat shell for the BMW i3. The carbon fiber component is a combination of lightweight construction and sustainability because it largely consists of carbon fiber recycled from the production of the BMW i3 car body. And there is another special feature: For the first time, carbon fiber materials combined with a PUR matrix are used in a series-produced car. The production of this composite part is made possible by Hennecke's high-pressure resin transfer molding (HP-RTM) process.
In addition, dashboard parts for the Hyundai Kia Automotive Group are presented. The focus here was not on lightweight construction, but on the particularly high-quality of look and feel and manufacturing precision. The thermoplastic composite consists of a thermoplastic substrate, a decorative film overlay and a foam layer made from polyurethane and are manufactured in automated process steps using a single compact plant network. In contrast to other soft-touch production processes, this Varysoft process is characterised by even greater softness.
Editor PickEuropean SAMPE meeting explores composites innovation
High spots from SAMPE Europe’s Summit 17.