Composites Innovation 2018

Bertrandt and SGL Present 'Carbon Carrier' Concept

28 November 2017

Bertrandt and SGL Present 'Carbon Carrier' Concept

Bertrandt and SGL have collaborated to develop a concept for automotive interior structures based on composite materials – the 'Carbon Carrier.'

Bertrandt and SGL combined their complementary expertise to demonstrate the potential of carbon fibre reinforced plastics (CFRP). The objective was to develop a technology ready for large-scale production that offers new configuration and design options for vehicle interiors.

An OEM-neutral body draft created at Bertrandt served as the basis for the development of a functional package model for the front vehicle interior of a convertible or coupé with electric drive. The model includes all major function and trim components of a conventional instrument panel. In addition, the carrier features a newly developed design language, which will help visualise central load paths and CFRP elements for drivers. Structural components were also redesigned, giving the interior a more free, light and floating impression.

“While designing the Carbon Carrier we made sure that the components, technologies and assembly concepts used were ready for large-scale production either now or in the near future,” states Michael Hage, Head of Body Development/CAE at Bertrandt. "For electric vehicles in particular, reduced weight means a greater range."

The major challenge in developing the Carbon Carrier was to find the optimal configuration of matrix and fibre, fibre length, volume and orientation, layer structure and process technology that meets a wide range of requirements. The body draft is an exemplary non-exclusive mounted structure for which SGL not only shared its material and process expertise, but also its experience in large-series component production. An optimal material mix as well as the production technology were developed at the Lightweight and Application Centre (LAC), where lightweight solutions are designed for large-scale production.

“The combined expertise of Bertrandt and SGL Group along the entire product development process was incorporated into the Carbon Carrier – from the concept phase, to design and automated large-scale production,” reports Dr Andreas Erber, Head of SGL's Lightweight and Application Centre.

The acquired expertise will be applied in further collaborative initiatives as well as in future Bertrandt and SGL customer projects.

Photo provided by SGL

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