Innovative Processing Technologies for Ultra-Light High Performance Composites (HiPerCom)

Lead Participant: Lola Composites Limited

Abstract

One of the key barriers to the more widespread adoption of high performance carbon fibre-reinforced polymer composites in the automotive sector is the difficulty in achieving the required short cycle time, high volume production to satisfy the requirements of mainstream applications. With thermosetting-based composite systems this is particularly challenging because of their reliance on a definite cure schedule. Thermoplastic-based systems on the other hand, which can be reversibly heated, formed and cooled, offer more flexibility in this respect. Therefore, the objective of the proposed project is to develop a short cycle time, high volume manufacturing process for carbon fibre-reinforced thermoplastic components. The vision is to develop production technologies for the rapid “stamp-forming” of CFRP parts in a fashion that is somewhat analogous to the stamping of sheet metals. In addition to providing the automotive sector with a viable processing route for high performance composite components, the technology should also be transferable to medium volume aerospace parts.

Publications

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