Bawtry Investments Acquires Axon Automotive

28 November 2017

UK-based Axon Automotive, developer of the Axontex carbon fibre structural beam technology, has been acquired by Bawtry Investments.

Bawtry purchased the controlling interest in the company from Far-UK.

“This is a very exciting time for the Axon Automotive team," says Chris Taylor, who is continuing as Managing Director of Axon Automotive. "The new owners are committed to recapitalising the business to fund further export growth and meet customer demand, not just in Europe, but also in India, China and other parts of Asia.”

In the last three years, Axon Automotive says it has seen double-digit growth in export orders, with a significant increase in the proportion of overseas sales to non-EU based customers.   

The Axontex technology is used worldwide to manufacture lightweight carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) structural components for vehicles. In one project, it is being specified for the Hyundai Intrado hydrogen-powered concept crossover car chassis.

For automotive engineers, the Axontex CFRP beam system is said to offer enormous design flexibility, since it is suitable for manufacturing both straight and curved structural and load bearing parts, with no size restrictions. The carbon fibre based technology is reported to provide lightweight parts with exceptional strength and torsional stiffness, plus a high resistance to deformation and bucking. It is suitable for producing a vehicle frame which needs both rigidity and high impact crash resistance performance, enabling designs which can meet desired lightweight objectives and still provide extremely high levels of passenger safety cage performance. Safety performance has been tested and proven, with the Axontex system passing the automotive seat belt load test according to ECE regulation 14, where the belt attachment resisted up to 1350 daN +/- 20 daN. It has also undergone specific energy absorption (SEA) crash impact load testing, where the Axontex system provided up to 1.5 times the SEA of aircraft-grade aluminium. 

Far-UK’s core business objective is the development of innovative new composite technologies and helping customers introduce these new technologies into production. The sale of Axon has provided extra funds and released resources to allow it to focus on using its design and conceptualisation technical expertise and project management skills to develop other new production processes for manufacturing ‘next generation’ lightweight composite components.  

“Our job with Axon Automotive was essentially done," states Dr Kevin Lindsey, the newly appointed managing director of Far Composites (part of Far-UK). "The sale has freed up the Far Composites team to develop the next composite material innovation, such as the new project we are currently working on to develop new rapid, high productivity, low cost, compression moulding processes for both thermoplastic and thermoset composite systems. This project, which includes novel new materials, is initially aimed at the automotive market, but we think will be of interest to other land transportation markets, such as bus and rail.”  

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