Covestro, a leading polymer company, has developed a new Baydur matrix system for carbon fibre structural components for vehicles that has three times the energy absorption potential of comparable resins.
The matrix system is, therefore, able to provide an extremely high level occupant safety in the event of a collision. Automakers and direct suppliers also benefit from high productivity, because the components are manufactured efficiently using the state-of-the-art high-pressure resin transfer moulding (HP-RTM) process.
The HP-RTM process has proved very effective for manufacturing robust composite parts in volumes in the low hundreds of thousands. Wovens or fabric with oriented carbon fibres are first laid in the open mould, which is then closed. In the space of a few seconds, the low-viscosity PU system is injected into the closed mould under high pressure. Due to the high reactivity of the PU system, the composite cures rapidly and the component can be demoulded and processed after a short time. Cycle times are just a few minutes, with consistently high quality, according to a press release.
Various polyurethane matrix materials from Covestro are already being used successfully to manufacture composite materials via RTM, the pultrusion process, and other process technologies.
Detlef Mies, expert for RTM composites at Covestro said, “We developed the polyurethane system with high-profile partners in the automotive industry and optimised it for the latest requirements. Our partner ThyssenKrupp used it to manufacture prototypes at its state-of-the-art Composites Technical Center in Dresden. These have performed extremely well in material testing.” (GK)