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The new 911 Cabriolet by Porsche achieves weight savings due to a structural reinforcement in the A-pillar comprised of heat expandable adhesive, also known as structural foam, developed by L&L Products and fibre reinforced thermoplastic composite, also known as organo sheet, made by Lanxess.
According to Porsche’s blog, ‘the shell of the new 911, except for the impact area on the front and rear, is now made up entirely of aluminium. Adhesive bonding and other novel joining techniques are largely replacing conventional welding’.
The proportion of steel in the car is just 30 percent in the new 911. In addition, some areas have been completely revised, particularly the A-pillar. The A-pillar is the roof support structure on either side of a vehicle’s windshield. Typically, in a cabriolet vehicle, a welded steel tube is used to protect passengers in case of a roll over. Steel is a heavy and expensive solution. It also lacks design flexibility.
The new 911 features a composite insert that acts as a structural reinforcement in the A-pillar. The pillar shell contains an insert made from high-strength steel. The inside of the A-pillar is supported by a part made out of organo sheet and short glass-fibre polyamide. The organo sheet is then bonded to the surrounding steel parts after heat activation with L&L’s structural foam technology.
According to the Plastics Today article, the excellent mechanical performance of the hybrid A-pillar demonstrates that hybrid inserts based on steel sheet, organo sheet blanks such as Lanxess Tepex, short glass-fibre polyamide 6 or polyamide 66 variations such as Lanxess Durethan as a back-injection material and on a structural foam such as L&L’s L-5235 also offer considerable potential for use in structural lightweight vehicle body design. “That applies to electric vehicles in particular, as their heavy batteries give them a high impact mass,” explains Henrik Plaggenborg, Head of Tepex Automotive at the Lanxess High Performance Materials (HPM) business unit. “The weight reduction also extends the range of electric vehicles that use this technology.”
L&L Products is pleased to have the innovative A-pillar featured in the Porsche’s blog, Plastics Today and Springer Professional.
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