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Improved CF-RTM process for CSP used by car manufacturers

Continental Structural Plastics (CSP) has completely improved the carbon fiber RTM (CF-RTM) process. For this reason, luxury car manufacturers have decided to use this technology for future vehicle platform closures. These doors have both internal and external panels, as well as structural reinforcements molded using CSP’s advanced CF-RTM process.

When CSP founded the Center of Excellence in Lightweight Technology and Carbon Fiber Processes in Pouancé, France in 2013, the goal was to develop a process that would make carbon fiber affordable for high volume applications. Since then, the European CSP team has been working on developing a high-performance CF-RTM process that enables high-strength, ultra-lightweight components to enable OEMs to meet stringent carbon dioxide emission regulations. Specifically, the team has focused on improving cycle times by leveraging automated preforming to reduce the cost of carbon fiber materials.

“We have been aiming for a cycle time of 3 minutes using 100% recycled carbon fiber. The concept of a multi-material deck lid has demonstrated that this is perfectly possible,” said CSP. Mark Philippe Toitguns, Director of Research and Development in Europe, said. “We are currently collaborating with major US and European OEMs on carbon fiber RTM programs and are proud to see the first commercial application of this technology coming soon.”

From CAE analysis, flow simulation, preform process, mold design and full automation, CSP has built best-in-class expertise to support key structures and class ACF-RTM programs for closures and other BIW applications. ..

The main distinguishing factor for CSP is based on an injection pressure of 100 bar and a pressure of up to 1,500 tonnes for closure applications. High fiber content (50% or more) for structural applications. 20 seconds injection time; variable thickness control; up to 30% lighter when compared to aluminum.

To support several carbon fiber RTM programs, CSP and its parent company Teijin are investing in a dedicated CF-RTM production line in Palmela, Portugal. The initial investment of € 5.5 million includes the installation of compression presses, RTM injection equipment and bonding cells.

Ricardo Barros, CSP / Inapal Program Manager, said: “We are pleased to work with our European customers to demonstrate RTM capabilities.” The level of industrialization and automation we have in Palmela is unmatched in similar carbon fiber applications. “

In addition to reducing component weight and cycle time, the European CSP team has pursued many methodologies that lead to more sustainable manufacturing processes. CSP Europe is working towards a net zero emission goal, with a focus on reducing natural or recycled fibers, thermoplastics / biosources, advanced resins, scrap and waste, tomorrow’s CF. -Working on the RTM process.

“Our goal is to continue working on sustainable value propositions that focus on net zero CO2 emissions,” said Philip Bonte, President of CSP Europe. “We achieve this through the use of advanced manufacturing technology and renewable materials, with the aim of becoming an active contributor to the global environment.”

CSP received the JEC Innovation Award in 2016 for its Lincoln MKS deck lid concept (TCA Ultra Lite outer panel and carbon fiber RTM prototype inner).

Fiber2Fashion News Desk (SV)

Continental Structural Plastics (CSP) has completely improved the carbon fiber RTM (CF-RTM) process. For this reason, luxury car manufacturers have decided to use this technology for future vehicle platform closures. These doors have both internal and external panels, as well as structural reinforcements molded using CSP’s advanced CF-RTM process.



Improved CF-RTM process for CSP used by car manufacturers

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