Latest developments in manufacturing carbon fiber car parts
- UPDATE: Carbon fiber car wheel weighs only 5.2 kg
- Hyundai develops carbon frame for automotive body
- Local Motors is printing the Strati again – this time in 24 hours
- Teijin moulds complete carbon fiber car body in only 1 minute
- Printing of world’s first 3d printed car #Strati took roughly 40 hours
Carbon fiber car wheel weighs only 5.2 kg
Hyundai develops carbon frame for automotive body
Hyundai Motor Company, in cooperation with Lotte Chemical, Hyosung Corporation and Axon Automotive, has developed a carbon frame for the automotive body of the Intrado concept car. This innovation is also the winner of this year’s JEC Innovation Award.
At the core of the frame around which the Intrado concept car is based are carbon-fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) tubes which are as flexible as rope. By aligning and curing them with a mixture of carbon fiber-reinforced plastics, the resulting structure becomes rigid and strong. The frame is formed from precisely-shaped continuous loops made from the newly-formed material. – read more-
Local Motors is printing the Strati again – this time in 24 hours
Teijin moulds complete carbon fiber car body in only 1 minute
In 2011 already, Teijin introduced a 4-seater concept car with Carbon Fiber Reinforced Thermoplastic (CFRTP) body structure. The body was formed in one minute and weighs only 47kg, merely a fifth of a comparable steel structure. This was the first real step towards mass production of car bodies made from carbon fiber reinforced composites. Conventional thermoset-formed carbon fiber composites are rarely used in mass production due to their long cycle time.
The company tackled this problem by developing a thermoplastic resin that softens when heat is applied and quickly hardens when it cools, without losing its desirable properties. The material can also be recycled and reused. Teijin has branded this world’s first CFRTP technology as Sereebo (an acronym for Save the Earth, Revolutionary & Evolutionary Carbon), and is now in the progress of bringing it closer to commercial high-volume production.
Teijin is currently working with automakers worldwide, including General Motors, to accelerate the development of Sereebo-branded composites. Technical facilities in both Japan and the USA and a pilot plant in Japan further support the development of this technology. Collaborative developments with consumer electronics makers and precision equipment makers are also in progress, and Nikon has already adopted Sereebo to manufacture structural parts for a digital SLR camera.
Printing of world’s first 3d printed car took roughly 40 hours
At the recent #IMTS the world’s first 3D-printed carbon fiber car was produced. And on Saturday 13. September, after 40 hours of printing, the first test drive took place. This fully functional vehicle was printed from scratch and assembled by automotive design firm Local Motors. This event showcased a long-awaited solution to a major manufacturing challenge: how to avoid the significant investments in tooling and time necessary to produce large free form designs. Local Motors collaborated with Cincinnati Incorporated, a large-scale manufacturing system builder, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), a player in advanced materials research, and SABIC to develop and validate the technology and materials needed to deliver large format 3D printing technology.
As material SABIC’s LNP STAT-KON carbon fiber-reinforced compound was chosen. It features very good strength-to-weight ratio and high stiffness, which minimizes warping during the 3D printing process. The 3D printer was in fact a so-called BAAM (Big Area Additive Manufacturing) machine of Cincinnati which prints polymer components 200-500 times faster and 10 times larger than today’s additive manufacturing machines.
Here are some key information about BAAM, including working principle, extrusion rates, layer thicknesses and the range of materials that can be used (Source: PT-Plastics Technology): click here
At Local Motors every new design starts from the community, i.e. from the community of designers, engineers and fabricators. This give a richer input of creativity than they can get just from an internal team. The concept vehicle event, for example, stemmed from a Local Motor’s Design Challenge which resulted in the submission of over 200 entries from 30+ countries. The winning concept, #Strati, inspired the full sized 3D-printed prototype.