Coriolis unveils automotive composites technologies and products
Robotic system and software supplier Coriolis Composites Technologies SAS (Quéven, France) featured at JEC World 2016 several automotive projects in which company chief technical officer Alexandre Hamlyn says the company has been involved for three years.
On display was a net shape flat preform for the Audi A8 B-pillar, produced with unidirectional dry carbon fiber tape (with a binder) using a 16-tow Coriolis head, and made via high-pressure resin transfer molding (HP-RTM) with virtually no scrap. Hamlyn says part development included linking Coriolis’ robotic layup software with mold forming simulation programs, including AniForm (Enschede, The Netherlands), to achieve the best fiber orientation in the flat preform to create the final part shape and performance. The part, currently undergoing qualification, reportedly can be made in approximately 2 minutes, and formed in 20 seconds.
Also on display were engine mounts produced by Coriolis as part of a cooperative project, called DYNAFIB, for automotive tier supplier Cooper Standard (Novi, MI, US), which has a facility near Coriolis. Here’s a link to a recent CW article about DYNAFIB and activities of the numerous project partners: www.compositesworld.com/articles/dry-fiber-placement-surpassing-limits. The composite engine mounts, 50% lighter than benchmark steel parts, are made by laying glass/polyamide prepreg (pigmented black) to form a loop, as shown in the photo (left), which is then assembled over attachment points and subsequently overmolded (the orange-pigmented plastic) to form the final mount part. Hamlyn says the parts will be in series production soon: “We’re transferring our composites know-how from aerospace, where we started, into the automotive sector.”
Recent technology announcements portend a new era of more efficient blade production.
Automated tape laying and automated fiber placement technologies take a key enabling role in production of today’s — and tomorrow’s — composite-airframed commercial jets.
There are numerous methods for fabricating composite components. Selection of a method for a particular part, therefore, will depend on the materials, the part design and end-use or application. Here's a guide to selection.