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Zoltek has won the JEC Automotive Process Innovation Award in partnership with Audi, Voith Composites and Dow Automotive, for the development of a carbon rear wall module using a high-volume CFRP production process.
The resulting part, developed with Zoltek PX35 commercial carbon fibre, is cost efficient while maintaining the high-performance properties required for automotive applications. Layers of carbon fibre were placed, preformed, and moulded using a high-pressure resin transfer moulding (HP-RTM) process that resulted in a fully automated, high-volume production run with capacity for more than 300 parts per day.
The combination of PX35 and HP-RTM proved to be beneficial. For instance, the layers of PX35 carbon fibre absorb transverse and longitudinal loads, as well as shearing force. The final part is both high strength and rigid. Overall torsional rigidity in the vehicle has increased by 33% due to the addition of Zoltek carbon fibre, the company reports.
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