Plastics News Europe - June 2018 - 14

automotive

technologies that
take the weight off

Vehicle weight continues to be a major
focus within the automotive industry.
Plastics News Europe spoke with two
companies, Henkel and EconCore,
about the composite technologies
they have to offer to automobile
manufacturers today.

T

he two most important design
parameters that determine a vehicle's mileage and CO2 emissions are weight and power. In 2016,
the average vehicle weight in Europe
was around 1,380 kg and the average
vehicle weight in North America
around 1,800 kg. And according to
the latest European vehicle market statistics (Pocketbook 2017/18), average
new-car CO2 emissions officially fell to
118 g/km in 2016, or in fuel consumption terms, about 5 liters/100km. The
EU's overall 2015 target of 130 g/km
was met in 2013, two years ahead of
schedule. But emission levels vary
widely among Member States, with
Germany at the upper end (125 g/km)
and France at the lower end (110 g/
km) of the spectrum.
Yet the requirements are due to be
tightened again: by 2021, phased in
from 2020, the fleet average to be
achieved by all new cars is 95
grams of CO2 per kilometre, a target
that more than a few car manufacturers are struggling to meet.

Basically, there are two approaches to shedding weight: either car
manufacturers need to build smaller
cars, or the material composition of
cars can be changed, allowing lighter
cars to be built of the same size. And,
as the scale of weight reduction
achieved by changing the material
composition of cars is limited by the
extent of material substitution and by
material choice, some car makers are
opting to do both.
As both Henkel and EconCore
noted, lightweighting is part of the
solution, not a solution in itself. Substituting metals by composite materials, however, in some cases can offer
benefits that go beyond a lighter
weight alone.

'The right materials'
According to Konrad Brimo Hayek,
senior business development manager automotive composites at Henkel, the main focus, when it comes
to using composite materials in cars,
is on the chassis segment and integrated
multi-substrate
designs.
"Composites as a whole are driving
integration into the chassis," he noted. The force behind this development are the Tier 1 suppliers, he
added. As an example of a component that has been successfully produced from composite material instead of the traditional metal, he
mentioned the leaf spring produced
for Volvo - initially for the XC90

14

model only, but with more models to
follow.
Henkel developed a composite
matrix resin called Loctite Max 2,
based on polyurethanes, allowing the
leaf spring to be produced using a totally automated high-speed RTM process, said Brimo Hayek. "What you
need are the right materials. The advantage of polyurethane over epoxy
resins is its low viscosity and fast curing speed. Volvo came to us (SGL
Composites & Henkel) because we
could deliver the polyurethane technology - and with our material there
is a cycle time of 30 seconds per leaf
spring, so it's suitable for high volume
applications. "
A composite leaf spring, he added,
offers benefits that a metal one does
not: not only do the composite springs
weigh less, they offer better noise and
sound damping properties and, because they are flatter, make a smaller
axle design possible, which in turn allows for a roomier trunk design.
Henkel has also successfully transferred the expertise gained from the
leaf spring to its newly developed
Loctite Max 5 technology, an epoxybased matrix resin for carbon fiber
reinforced composite wheels, designed to replace the aluminum traditionally used in this chassis application. Epoxy was chosen for its high
temperature resistance - 'hot brakes
can reach temperatures of 200250˚C', said Brimo Hayek. And what

june 2018



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Plastics News Europe - June 2018

Contents
Plastics News Europe - June 2018 - Cover1
Plastics News Europe - June 2018 - Cover2
Plastics News Europe - June 2018 - Contents
Plastics News Europe - June 2018 - 4
Plastics News Europe - June 2018 - 5
Plastics News Europe - June 2018 - 6
Plastics News Europe - June 2018 - 7
Plastics News Europe - June 2018 - 8
Plastics News Europe - June 2018 - 9
Plastics News Europe - June 2018 - 10
Plastics News Europe - June 2018 - 11
Plastics News Europe - June 2018 - 12
Plastics News Europe - June 2018 - 13
Plastics News Europe - June 2018 - 14
Plastics News Europe - June 2018 - 15
Plastics News Europe - June 2018 - 16
Plastics News Europe - June 2018 - 17
Plastics News Europe - June 2018 - 18
Plastics News Europe - June 2018 - 19
Plastics News Europe - June 2018 - 20
Plastics News Europe - June 2018 - 21
Plastics News Europe - June 2018 - 22
Plastics News Europe - June 2018 - 23
Plastics News Europe - June 2018 - 24
Plastics News Europe - June 2018 - 25
Plastics News Europe - June 2018 - 26
Plastics News Europe - June 2018 - 27
Plastics News Europe - June 2018 - 28
Plastics News Europe - June 2018 - 29
Plastics News Europe - June 2018 - 30
Plastics News Europe - June 2018 - 31
Plastics News Europe - June 2018 - 32
Plastics News Europe - June 2018 - 33
Plastics News Europe - June 2018 - 34
Plastics News Europe - June 2018 - 35
Plastics News Europe - June 2018 - 36
Plastics News Europe - June 2018 - 37
Plastics News Europe - June 2018 - 38
Plastics News Europe - June 2018 - 39
Plastics News Europe - June 2018 - 40
Plastics News Europe - June 2018 - 41
Plastics News Europe - June 2018 - 42
Plastics News Europe - June 2018 - Cover3
Plastics News Europe - June 2018 - Cover4
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