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Epoxy Tooling Board Speeds Micro-Car to Market

11 August 2005

Already widely used in the world's automotive industry, Huntsman Advanced Materials tooling boards have now been used in the development of a new Italian micro-car - the k200.

The ATR Group, an Italian consortium comprising nine leading companies involved in the research and production of carbon fibre advanced composite structural parts and components, is behind the k200 project.

Among its other prestigious international automotive clients are Ferrari, Maserati, Lamborghini, Audi, Bugatti and Porsche. SLC, part of ATR Group, worked on the k200 model, specifically designed for the niche micro-car market. Made entirely from composite materials, as a result, the k200 is a super-light vehicle.

Drawing on their wide expertise in composite materials, ATR Group technicians specified Huntsman Advanced Materials' BM 5055 epoxy tooling board to build the models for ten carbon fibre moulds of the chassis, all the bodywork and interior components of the k200.

'The physical properties of this tooling board were particularly suitable for our technological process', said Giulio Strambi, Technical and Operational Manager at ATR Group, 'especially the high temperature and pressure stability which are key requirements for the curing process of the resin. Also, compared with other products on the market, we appreciated the ease of machining BM 5055 and its good surface finish after CNC milling. This enabled us to drastically reduce the final hand polishing operations and, subsequently, to speed up the entire manufacturing process'.

BM 5055 epoxy tooling board is suitable for hand laminating pre-preg moulds and vacuum forming. It offers high dimensional stability, good temperature resistance, a smooth surface finish, Shore strength of 75D, density ranging between 0.72 and 0.75g/cm3, and compressive strength of 50-55MPa.






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