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4/29/2016 | 2 MINUTE READ

SAMPE Europe Summit 2016

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SAMPE Europe held its one-day Summit Paris 2016 event at the Hotel Pullman Paris Eiffel Tower on March 7. CW’s technical editor Sara Black was in attendance and noted the following standout presentations.

SAMPE Europe held its one-day Summit Paris 2016 event at the Hotel Pullman Paris Eiffel Tower on March 7. CW’s technical editor Sara Black was in attendance and noted the following standout presentations.

Formerly a director of Audi’s Lightweight Center (Ingolstadt, Germany) and currently a board member of Carbon Composites eV, Heinrich Timm described Audi’s study of the impact of mass, and how high-strength steels, aluminum and composites all played a part in creating sufficient stiffness for the automaker’s car bodies. He emphasized that trial and error does not lead to the best solution, that carbon is not a replacement for metal, and that virtual simulation is a must for a multi-material concept, to take advantage of carbon fiber’s anisotropy. He described a Carbon Composites eV project that aims to reduce the processing cost of carbon composites by 90%, and material cost by 50%: “If we don’t reach these numbers, carbon fiber won’t be going into mainstream automotive.” Nevertheless, he cited the Audi 7-Series’ “patchwork” hybrid approach with carbon in selected areas, and the benefits of system integration. He concluded with the prediction that about 15% of a car body in carbon composite would make sense.

Valentin Koslowski (University of Stuttgart, Germany) gave a fascinating paper on a bio-based architectural concept: replicating spider cocoons with carbon and glass fiber to form novel architectural spaces. The process starts with an inflated polymer bag, with its shape maintained with positive pressure. An articulated robot inside the bag places individual tows of carbon or glass against the plastic; the end effector developed by the university is able to stick the tow to the plastic without applying so much pressure that the bag breaks. The composite tows cure ambiently to form arching, random fiber strands that are programmed based on the natural spider cocoon elements. When cured, the bag is removed, and the resulting graceful and interesting “room” or space is left. The group has also robotically formed “trees” and other biotic elements; one of its designs will be installed this year at the Albert and Victoria Museum in London, as a sun canopy.

Roeland Coumans of CeraCarbon (Stein, The Netherlands) described a new (pat. pend.) CeraCarbon, consisting of carbon fiber laminate tubes coated with a ceramic material. Coumans said his product already has been adopted by Moto GP motorcycle racing teams for suspension elements that typically see wear and abra- sion. CeraCarbon elements are 75% lighter, saving 1.5 kg in unsprung weight. Aircraft landing gear elements and helicopter blades could be promising applications.

Jan Peeters (FiberCore Europe, Rotterdam, The Netherlands) described company’s composite bridge building method. Using a reconfigurable mold, automated methods and serial production, FiberCore has installed more than 450 durable structures in Europe at costs that are often lower than conventional materials. His Infracore concept of stacked, z-style composite beams eliminates the Achilles heel of composites in bridges: interlaminar shear and subsequent delamination. 

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