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3A Composites Core Materials is developing a new structural AIREX foam core platform targeted at lightweight, high-volume automotive applications that is capable of being processed in high temperature, high pressure, short-cycle production methods.
Weight reduction has become a major focus in the automotive industry. Composites, particularly sandwich designs, have a proven track record of delivering weight saving solutions. Composite sandwich parts used in a car must fulfil very diverse requirements. The material mix and the manufacturing technology must both be specifically tailored to the individual part and its expected series volume. Automotive applications require low total cost and extremely short production cycles, which demand innovative solutions that go beyond current practices in traditional composite industry segments. The new AIREX foam core platform was developed with this in mind.
“This is a great achievement,” says Roman Thomassin, CEO of 3A Composites Core Materials division, manufacturer of AirexBaltekBanova products. “The key challenges faced by the automotive industry are fuel savings and environmental protection – and our new sandwich foam technology can open up new horizons in these areas.”
“Our goal is to support the automotive industry in its drive toward weight reduction, and to deliver a sustainable and cost-efficient sandwich solution to accelerate the growth of structural sandwich parts in high volume car production,” adds Eric Gauthier, President of Global Key Accounts of 3A Composites Core Materials.
Tests with multiple resin systems – both thermoset and thermoplastic as well as various sandwich production processes – have proven that a short cycle time and excellent part quality can be achieved with the new AIREX foam platform, the company reports, even with series volumes of more than 100,000 parts per year.
Image provided by 3A Composites Core Materials
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