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The JEC 2015 Jury Prize was awarded to Hyundai and chassis design partner Axon Automotive for the Intrado hydrogen powered crossover car which included two advanced composites materials developed by Scott Bader.
Scott Bader explains that the vacuum infused chassis components for this new Intrado concept vehicle use Axon Automotive’s Axontex structural beam technology, which has Crestapol 1250LV as the specified high performance acrylic thermoset resin. It says that all of the chassis and frame CFRP components are robotically bonded together by Axon using Crestabond M1-20 primer-less structural adhesive, with no mechanical fixings needed. The result is an automotive chassis with the strength and stiffness of a similar steel structure, but with a 70% saving in the overall chassis weight.
According to Scott Bader, the internationally patented Axontex structural beam technology has a 3D woven structure, comprising a carbon fibre braid over machine laid multiple preforms made of closed cell low density polyethylene (LDPE) foam. Crestapol 1250LV resin is then infused by vacuum assisted resin transfer moulding (VARTM) around the carbon fibres and LDPE preforms; the carbon fibre specified is Hyosung’s Tansome H2550-12K high strength grade. During the VARTM process, the LPDE foam expands and takes the shape of the tool, creating the unique internal structure with shear webs, which is at the heart of this super-lightweight carbon fibre composite system.
Scott Bader claims that the combination of the superior mechanical properties of Crestapol 1250LV resin with the Axontex technology’s internal web configuration produces moulded CFRP chassis parts which are very lightweight, yet provide the very high stiffness and mechanical strength properties needed for this type of vehicle; an ultimate tensile strength (UTS) of 900-1000 MPa (to BS 2282 Part 4) combined with a heat deflection temperature (HDT) of over 130oC have been consistently recorded during extensive testing of this composite system.
First unveiled in 2014 at the Geneva Motor Show, the Intrado car is still at the concept stage and so the chassis is manufactured for Hyundai in the UK by Axon Automotive at its factory in Northamptonshire, where it moulds and assembles the CFRP chassis to Hyundai agreed specifications. For more than two years, the Axon team has worked in close collaboration with Hyundai’s European Technical Centre, Scott Bader’s technical teams, and the two key carbon fibre supplier partners, Hyosung Corporation and Lotte Chemicals, to develop the exact design specifications needed for the chassis and frame of this crossover vehicle.
A key objective set by Hyundai was to achieve the lightest weight possible for the final assembled chassis and frame of the Intrado to maximise the range and performance of this, zero emissions, hydrogen powered vehicle. Dr Kevin Lindsey, Technical Director for Axon Automotive and Far-UK, commented “Significant additional weight savings were achieved in the final assembled chassis by being able to bond all the sections together. The Crestabond structural adhesive has an ideal combination of high load bearing adhesion strength, with flexibility, toughness and high impact resistance, even at low ambient temperatures.”
Photo provided by Scott Bader.
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