SGL and Bertrandt develop carbon composite for auto interiors
Bertrandt (Ehningen, Germany) and SGL Group (Meitingen, Germany) have collaborated on a new integrated concept for innovative interior structures based on composite materials, that the two companies call the “Carbon Carrier.”
Bertrandt (Ehningen, Germany) and SGL Group (Meitingen, Germany) have collaborated on a new integrated concept for innovative interior structures based on composite materials, that the two companies call the “Carbon Carrier.” Ready for large-scale production, the “Carbon Carrier” combines lightweight carbon fiber composite and integrated functionality, and is the “perfect example” of an innovative material mix for the automotive industry.
In lightweight construction, carbon fiber-reinforced plastics (CFRP) play a major role. Bertrandt and SGL Group have combined their complementary expertise to develop a technology ready for large-scale production that offers new configuration and design options for vehicle interiors.
An OEM-neutral body draft created at Bertrandt served as the basis for the development of a functional package model for the front vehicle interior of a convertible or coupè with electric drive. The model includes all major function and trim components of a conventional instrument panel. Structural components were also redesigned, giving the interior a more free, light and floating impression.
“While designing the Carbon Carrier, we made sure that the components, technologies and assembly concepts used were ready for large-scale production either now or in the near future. For electric vehicles in particular, reduced weight means a greater range,” states Michael Hage, head of Body Development/CAE at Bertrandt. The major challenge of the program was to find the optimal configuration of matrix and fiber material, fiber length, portion and orientation, layer structure and process technology that meets a wide range of requirements. The body draft is a non-exclusive mounted structure, for which SGL Group not only shared its material and process expertise, but also its experience in large-series component production. An optimal material mix as well as the production technology were developed at SGL’s Lightweight and Application Center (LAC), where lightweight solutions are designed for large-scale production.
“The combined expertise of Bertrandt and SGL Group along the entire product development process was incorporated into the Carbon Carrier – from the concept phase, to design and automated large-scale production,” reports Dr. Andreas Erber, head of the LAC.
A look at the process by which precursor becomes carbon fiber through a careful (and mostly proprietary) manipulation of temperature and tension.
The structural properties of composite materials are derived primarily from the fiber reinforcement. Fiber types, their manufacture, their uses and the end-market applications in which they find most use are described.
Fiber-reinforced plastic (FRP) replacing coated steel in more reinforced-concrete applications.