CW Blog

Porsche and the braided carbon fiber wheel

 

Porsche has revealed, with some fanfare, that it is the first automotive OEM to offer a vehicle with braided carbon fiber wheels. The 911 Turbo S is the car, and as the video below shows, its wheels are definitely made braided carbon fiber.

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By: Jeff Sloan 1. October 2017

All hail SMC

All hail SMC

Sheet molding compound (SMC) is no stranger to the composites industry, with a long and illustrious history in everything from cars and trucks to recreational vehicles and industrial structures. The last few years, however, have seen a renaissance for this workhorse material as it is embraced anew.

New high-strength SMCs with specific gravity (SG) hovering around 1.0 now have their sights set on aluminum in automotive body panels and other structures, and carbon fiber and epoxy are now also in the material mix from some suppliers. 

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A new Work in Progress article examines the use of in-mold pressure sensors to control mold filling in high-pressure resin transfer molding (HP-RTM). The research team in the Department of Polymer Engineering, based at the Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology (ICT, Pfinztal, Germany), is working closely with a variety of partners, from among materials and machinery suppliers as well as automotive OEMs. Recently, the team completed a study investigating the use of a new pressure-controlled HP-RTM process (PC-RTM) process, applied to two well-known process variants, high-pressure injection RTM (HP-IRTM) and high-pressure compression RTM (HP-CRTM). Click here for the full article.

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Ferrari Land features FRP cladding

The Ferrari Land theme park in Spain was officially opened to the public on April 7, which  aims to capture the spirit of Ferrari cars. The theme park’s two key landmarks – the Ferrari Experience building with its instantly recognizable classic Ferrari red colored exterior and car hood shaped entrance, and Red Force which is now Europe’s tallest and fastest rollercoaster at over 112 metres tall - were fabricated using a combination of painted flat aluminum panels and more complex, curved FRP composite wall cladding and roofing sections. Altogether, the FRP composite parts supplied covered approximately 1,500 square meters installed on the exterior of the Ferrari Experience building and various sections of the Red Force rollercoaster ride.

A total of 800 individual FRP parts were hand layup molded by specialist architectural façades and parts fabricator Look Composites at its factory in Alicante, in the south east of Spain. All the molded FRP parts were supplied to the contractor ready for priming and painting; as the buildings used both aluminum and FRP cladding panels, to ensure identical color matching of dissimilar material, all the sections were spray painted as a second stage by a specialist local company. The FRP composite panels supplied had to meet the Euroclass B,s2,d0 fire specification stipulated for this construction project.

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High-speed 3D printing with fiber reinforcement

CMS SpA and Fraunhofer IWU report that they are working on an R&D partnership focused on the development of a new hybrid system for high-speed 3D printing and machining of thermoplastic composite parts.

The new system, named CMS Kreator, will be available in several configurations and sizes, to cover a variety of industrial needs, mainly targeted toward the manufacture of prototypes and special parts. The range of materials used by CMS Kreator includes ABS, PA and high-performance polymers, mixed with short fiber carbon fiber and glass fiber to provide 40% fiber content.

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