24 June 2005
24 June 2005
Research by the Polymer Matrix Composites Group is looking at developing an automated machine to create fibre performs.
Automated spraying of carbon or glass fibre could soon provide the most economical way to create preforms in the manufacture of body panels for automobiles, heavy vehicles and other machinery.
Research headed by Bob Norris of the Polymer Matrix Composites Group in the US’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Metals and Ceramics are testing and advancing development of a programmable powdered preform process.
The robotically actuated machine sprays fibre and an adhesive powder binder substance to create fibre preforms. Resin is then injected in the mould and consolidated under pressure to create the final part.
The process is the first step in creating polymer composite structural and semi-structural auto panels that reduce the mass of composite automotive structures at a cost competitive with metal parts they are replacing. This results in lighter weight vehicles that are more energy efficient.
ORNL is working with the US auto industry and the Automotive Composites Consortium on this technology, which is funded by the Automotive Lightweighting Program in the US Department of Energy’s (DOE's) Office of Fuel Cell Technology.
Sharp & Tappin has installed and commissioned a Compcut 200 composite plate saw at Renault Sport Racing in Enstone, Oxfordshire, UK.
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) selected a lightweight FiberSPAN fibre reinforced polymer (FRP) bridge deck, manufactured by Composite Advantage, for the Rugg Bridge on Route 57.
Electric GT Holdings and SPV Racing recently unveiled the race-ready version of the EPCS V2.3 Tesla P100DL at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. The car features lightweight body parts made using Bcomp's ampliTex and powerRibs natural fibre composite reinforcement products, contributing to a 500 kg weight reduction over the road edition.