AUDI AG, in collaboration with Voith Composites GmbH, The Dow Chemical Company and ZOLTEK Corp., developed a CFRP rear wall structure suitable for fully-automated serial production with capacity for more than 300 parts per day.
Martin Reimers, composites market manager at Dow, said:
“For the first time, the full potential of CFRP can be used in high-volume production thanks to innovative and cost-efficient production technologies. Epoxy resins and composite bonding adhesives from Dow were key enablers for this project and we were happy to work together with Audi and the other partners to realize the success.”
Epoxy Resins & Bonding Adhesives used in Project
VORAFORCE™ epoxy resin was used and into a carbon fiber preform through a resin transfer molding process. Ultra-low viscosity enabled manufacturing of the large, complex part with the ability to integrate added functions. Cure times less than 120 seconds and excellent mold release capability provided through an internal mold release additive, ensured mass production capacity.
BETAFORCE™ composite bonding adhesives used for sub-assembly of the structure as well as part mounting into the body structure, helped retain the integrity of the part by improving torsional stiffness and crash performance.
Collaboration Lead to Innovation Award
The successful collaboration opens a new avenue for CFRP as a viable consideration for lightweight material selection for high-volume automotive manufacturing.