Evonik Industries AG (Essen, Germany) showcased at JEC Europe 2015 a new cost-effective manufacturing method for three-dimensional shaped foam cores, intended for carbon fiber automotive parts. In a joint venture with SECAR Technology GmbH (Mürzzuschlag-Hönigsberg, Austria), dubbed LiteCon Advanced Composite Product GmbH, Evonik’s ROHACELL Triple F polymethacrylimide (PMI) foam is being converted into crumb, then molded using a new in-mold foaming process to create any desired complex shape and foam density; inserts and fasteners can be molded in, and the Triple F foam is compatible with conventional resins. LiteCon exhibited a variety of complex foam core shapes, aimed at the automotive industry. This new technology aims to replace traditional and slower methods of shaping cores, where foam produced as large blocks is CNC-machined to the desired shape.
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When complete, the ICME model is expected to aid the development of 3GAHSS alloys for use in lightweighting automotive vehicle components and assemblies.