Plastic bumper beam produced by Curved Reactive Thermoplastic Pultrusion (CRTP)

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  • Hyundai breaks new ground
  • World’s first Curved Reactive Thermoplastic Pultrusion process (CRTP)
  • Winner of the AVK reinforced plastics Innovation Awards 2015

The Hyundai Motor Europe Technical Center (HMETC) has broken new ground, developing a new front bumper crash beam, consisting of an innovative composite insert overmolded with thermoplastic resin. The insert, obtained by a world’s first Curved Reactive Thermoplastic Pultrusion process (CRTP), is composed of unidirectional glass fiber rovings, glass textiles and the optional use of carbon fibers.

Composite beam

Composite beam in front of HMETC

The project’s main challenges

The project’s main challenges were the development of the following:

1) A pultrusion process using liquid in-mold reactive polymerization
2) New in-line curving equipment for the thermoplastic pultrusion
3) Mixing continuous unidirectional glass, carbon fibers and textile reinforcements
4) Development of the adhesion between the composite insert and the overmolding resin

Hyundai_beam

Significant weight reduction using carbon and glass fibers

When combined, these advances allowed a 3.6 kg (43%) weight reduction by using both carbon and glass fibers and 3.4 kg (39%) by using only glass fibers in the new front beam structure compared to the steel counterpart. Its more affordable cost and fast production process also ensured that the new component can be applied to high volume production. The new structure has undergone extensive component and vehicle validation, and is fulfilling the same performance criteria as the steel counterpart.

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