Title: CFRP MASS PRODUCTION IN AUTOMOTIVE: A COMPREHENSIVE REVIEW OF THE MAIN APPROACHES AVAILABLE FROM A MACHINERY PERSPECTIVE
Abstract: The growing demand for the reduction of CO2 emissions is pushing the OEMs at reducing the weight of cars. Composites are one of the most promising solutions, permitting to combine high mechanical performances with low weight. Traditional technologies like VARTM (Vacuum Assisted Resin Transfer Molding) or Autoclave, however, are not productive enough to withstand the massive volumes typical of the automotive industry. Average cycle times to obtain CFRP (Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer), in fact, can easily go beyond two hours, seriously limiting the adoption of these types of materials wherever big volumes are in place. Thanks to the R&D efforts of both chemical companies and machinery suppliers, however, a whole new way of making CFRP parts has been developed. Through integrated solutions for high pressure RTM (HP-RTM) and Wet Pressing ranging from injection units, to presses, to molds and preformers, cycle times can be achieved in less than 5 minutes for a fully cured CFRP part; opening the way to the adoption of these types of materials in the most demanding production environments. A dedicated team has also developed advanced mass production techniques to take advantage of recycled carbon fiber reinforcements.
Leading the CRESIM (Carbon Fiber Recycling Through Special Impregnation) European Community Project, Cannon has successfully engineered an integrated high productivity solution to utilize recycled reinforcements in mass production of CFRP parts.
Authors: Marco Rigobello, Martino Lamacchia
Conference: CAMX 2017 –Orlando