Automobile lightweight: mass production of composite leaf springs
Henkel, which has deep expertise in the field of polyurethane chemistry, has joined forces with bentler Sigri, a leading professional manufacturer of composite automotive components. The cooperation between the two sides enables the mass production of light fiber reinforced leaf spring based on polyurethane matrix resin
in the automotive industry, lightweight structure technology is becoming more and more popular, because this technology can reduce the body weight of contemporary vehicles and achieve the purpose of fuel saving and emission reduction. Henkel and bentler Sigri jointly developed the resin transfer molding (RTM) process for polyurethane matrix resin glass fiber reinforced leaf springs. This composite leaf spring is 65% lighter than the traditional steel leaf spring
Henkel Loctite max2 is a matrix resin of polyurethane matrix composites, and its curing speed is much faster than the epoxy resin commonly used in RTM process. Due to its low viscosity, polyurethane resin can penetrate and impregnate fiber materials more efficiently and mildly, and the injection molding time is shorter. A special function of Loctite max2 is that it has extremely high stress intensity coefficient, i.e. high toughness. Under load, higher toughness means better fatigue resistance. In the driving process, the automobile leaf spring must always bear the dynamic load and adopt the same type of materials in the fully integrated automation process to realize the functionalization. The flexible materials have high fatigue resistance, which can greatly extend the service life of these components
resin injection molding processes such as RTM are generally used in the manufacture of composite materials for mass-produced automobiles, because this process can more effectively control the curing reaction by adjusting the temperature or adding accelerators. In addition, loctite max2, a kind of polyurethane, uses thermoplastic (such as PVC) ester resin to generate less heat than epoxy resin in the curing process, so it also reduces the risk of local overheating and resulting shrinkage. Therefore, even thick parts with many fiber layers can be cured quickly. Because the rapid curing of matrix resin can speed up the production cycle, RTM process has become an ideal choice for mass production of automobiles
Benteler siegli is a joint venture between Benteler automobiltechnik and SGL Group. Its product line includes body parts, such as wings, doors and other visible carbon fiber parts. These composite components designed for mass production mainly include carbon fiber and glass fiber in various textile forms such as stitching or woven fabrics. Customers are mainly middle and high-end automobile manufacturers, including almost all famous automobile brands
bentler Sigri has developed lightweight Space saving composite plate spring technology combined with expertise Frank deutschlnder, global market manager of Automotive Department of Henkel agco. KGA a, said: "When developing these composite leaf springs, bentler Sigri and Henkel showed their respective abilities and complemented each other. We used the matrix resin product Loctite max2 to develop a new process tailored to the automotive industry for bentler Sigri, so as to create fiber composite components with such superior performance."
as the carbon dioxide emission standards become more stringent, the automotive industry is paying more and more attention to lightweight structures. Bentler Sigri's composite components help improve safety while reducing fuel consumption. Frank fetscher, director of sales and marketing of automotive composite materials department in bentler Siegel 2, the status quo and development trend of biomedical materials industry and technology abroad, said: "in close cooperation with Henkel, we have successfully manufactured resin transfer molded glass fiber reinforced leaf springs for the automotive industry. They are not only light in weight but also high in strength. They are suitable for mass production and meet our highest expectations for cost efficiency and process reliability."
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