- CFRP results in 70% weight reduction over steel version
- Fully automated braiding process
- JEC Innovation Awards winner, category: Transportation
Autobus expert MAN had the idea and Munich Composites the expertise and designed the prototype: the two companies have jointly developed air spring beams for omnibuses made from carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP).
CFRP results in 70% weight reduction over steel version
Air spring beams for omnibuses are currently manufactured from steel. As a result, the construction weighs more than 53 kg. The use of CFRP results in a 70% weight reduction compared to the previous steel version. The new air spring beam weighs less than 16 kg. Since there are two beams in every omnibus, the vehicle can load one more passenger.
Fully automated braiding process
Braiding technology was selected for the production of the CFRP beam. The main advantage is that the process is fully automated. Several robots guide the core through the braiding machine without any manual interference. Due to the high productivity, complete automation, and very low scrap of braiding, the cost of the CFRP beam will be highly reduced and, considering the significant weight reduction, competitively viable.