Affordable high Rate Composite Structures (ARCS)

Lead Participant: Sigmatex (UK) Limited

Abstract

The global automotive industry continues to face significant challenges in meeting the future needs of the mobility sector, such as improved _fuel efficiency, reduced emissions, electrification of power train, autonomous driving and connectivity._ One of the biggest opportunities in rising to these challenges comes through the selection of _the right materials in the right places_ within the vehicle. This multi-material approach, giving the design engineers the freedom to select the most appropriate material for a particular component is expected to be a major feature of automotive design in the future. _CFRP will play a significant part in that material selection_ due to its benefits of high strength and stiffness but with a much lower weight factor than alternative materials.

As the mainstream automotive OEM's move increasingly in the direction of CFRP, the industry supply chain must respond to that challenge by demonstrating that it can supply _consistent quality parts, to the right performance level, at the rate level required and at a competitive price level_.

Whilst much progress has been made on the technology side, the general view is that CFRP is still too expensive versus metallics, and with added complications in terms of CFRP component integration within the vehicle. It is therefore _necessary to reduce the cost difference between CFRP and metallic components if CFRP is to truly fulfil its potential as a lightweight material solution to serial Automotive._

_The objective of this project is:_

* _To develop an innovative high volume, low cost carbon fibre textile and material handling process that will provide a step change in achieving cost competitive CFRP parts for serial automotive applications._
* _To accelerate the development of a UK supply chain capable to support volume demand for composite components at a rate of \>50,000 units per year (per component)._
* _To deliver significant CO2 savings through creating an economically viable solution for the cost-effective use of composite parts in affordable cars._
* _Create many high skill level jobs that will strengthen the UK's position as a technology leader in the fields of automotive design and manufacture._

Lead Participant

Project Cost

Grant Offer

Sigmatex (UK) Limited, Runcorn £2,909,267 £ 1,250,985
 

Participant

Gkn Autostructures Limited, SHROPSHIRE £1,132,796 £ 487,102
Nissan Motor Manufacturing (UK) Limited, Sunderland, United Kingdom £107,884 £ 53,942
University of Sheffield, United Kingdom £634,725 £ 634,725
Airborne Composites LTD, BERKSHIRE £1,953,534 £ 840,020
Cranfield University, United Kingdom £246,857 £ 246,857

Publications

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