Automotive lightweight composite : discover Fast RTM with our expert M. Glotin


The auto-industry needs
to reduce CO2 emissions and one solution
is to reduce vehicle weight. To do this, one key approach
is to substitute steel, which is the main structural element
in cars today, with very light-weight
composite materials in order to achieve
a 50% weight reduction on parts. The process we’ve developed
is common in the composite industry – Resin Transfer Molding – but we have adapted it
to make these parts at series-produced-vehicle
production rates. We did this in partnership with machine developers,
auto-manufacturers, etc. We defined an industrial pilot, a new process,
called Fast RTM which enables us
to make typical auto parts in about 2 minutes. The mechanical performance
of the product obtained is really key. Then, with regard to the process itself we need a very fluid resin to fill out complex shapes
in structural fabrics. The characteristic of our resin is that it is processed
at relatively low temperatures of around 100°
and in isothermal conditions which limits the energy needed
for the manufacture of parts during the process. An additional feature is the ability to make
netshape parts which don’t need any reworking,
they are produced fully finished. The advantage of parts
made from this resin is that the composite
can be recycled relatively easily using current proven techniques. With our partners
we are very proud to have been honored
with a 2017 JEC Award which valorizes all the work
that went into this platform. So we are very happy indeed.