2018 JEC Innovation Award win acknowledges reality for mass production of torsionally-rigid components for automotive rear wall structures
MIDLAND, Mich. - March 07, 2018 - - The new carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) rear wall structure developed for the Audi A8 and powered by Dow has won the JEC Innovation Award in the Automotive Process Category. 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.
“For the first time, the full potential of CFRP can be used in high-volume production thanks to innovative and cost-efficient production technologies,” said Martin Reimers, composites market manager at Dow. “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.”
VORAFORCE™ epoxy resin was injected 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.
The CFRP rear wall structure of the new Audi A8 – that can be viewed at Hall 5, Stand E42 - weighs 50 percent less than the previous generation and increases torsional rigidity by up to 24 percent which improves safety and crash behavior, reduces noise and vibration, optimizes driving and handling characteristics and also extends vehicle life through higher durability.
Collaboration is essential to drive innovation. This success opens a new avenue for CFRP as a viable consideration for lightweight material selection for high-volume automotive manufacturing.
About JEC Innovation Awards
JEC Group, the largest composites organization in the world, presented a new format this year for its prestigious JEC Innovation Awards competition, naming 30 finalists divided into 10 categories. A renowned jury of experts selected one winner per category, rewarding 10 composites champions who presented their innovations in various end-use markets for composites. For the occasion, a brand new trophy was created. The new composites trophy combines parts from many different composite materials such as glass fiber, carbon fiber, or again natural fiber, representing the diversity of the industry. The winners were announced on March 7, 2018 at JEC World 2018 in Paris.
The Dow Chemical Company (Dow) combines science and technology knowledge to develop premier materials science solutions that are essential to human progress. Dow has one of the strongest and broadest toolkits in the industry, with robust technology, asset integration, scale and competitive capabilities that enable it to address complex global issues. Dow’s market-driven, industry-leading portfolio of advanced materials, industrial intermediates, and plastics businesses deliver a broad range of differentiated technology-based products and solutions for customers in high-growth markets such as packaging, infrastructure, and consumer care. Dow is a subsidiary of DowDuPont (NYSE: DWDP), a holding company comprised of Dow and DuPont with the intent to form three strong, independent, publicly traded companies in agriculture, materials science and specialty sectors. More information can be found at www.dow.com.