0

No products in the cart.

No products in the cart.

Category: Carbon Fiber Products

29

Jul

Volvo carbon fiber panels

Volvo to replace body parts with energized carbon fiber panels

For automobile manufacturers, the electric elephant in the room continues to be bulky and weighty battery packs. This week, Volvo unveiled an innovative potential solution to the problem that it has been working on for the past three and a half years with other European partners; replace steel body panels with carbon fiber composite panels infused with nano-batteries and super capacitors.

The conductive material used around the vehicle to charge and store energy can be recharged via the vehicle’s regenerative braking system or via the grid. When the system and motor requires a charge, the energized panels behave like any traditional battery pack and discharge accordingly. According to Volvo, the material charges and stores faster than a typical system.

Using a Volvo S80 as a test platform, the team replaced the vehicle’s trunk lid and plenum cross member over the engine bay with the new material. Volvo claims the composite trunk lid, which is stronger than the outgoing steel component, could not only power the vehicle’s 12 volt system but the weight savings alone could increase an EV’s overall range and performance as a result.

Under the hood, Volvo wanted to show that the plenum replacement bar is not only capable of replacing a 12 volt system but is also 50 percent lighter than the standard steel cross-member and torsionally stronger. The very much revolutionary concept, chock full of cost and engineering challenges, presents an interesting solution that could not only reduce overall weight but increase charge capacity relative to a vehicle’s surface area.

Volvo says energized carbon fiber body panels are not only stronger and lighter but easily replace...

When it comes to weight savings, the battery pack in Tesla’s Model S for example, not only adds significant cost but also brings with it over 1,000 lb (453 kg), making the electric argument a difficult one for many. With Volvo’s concept, that huge chunk of weight would not only be lighter under this scenario, but would be spread out evenly over a vehicle’s body. In theory, vehicle handling and performance characteristics would thus improve as a result of this revised displacement idea.

But the idea of using body panels as battery packs does come with its share of particular concerns. Lamborghini, McLaren and Pagani charge a hyper-premium for their exotics as a result of extensive carbon fiber use, so for this idea to become reality and make it to mass production would require a significant reduction in the cost of carbon fiber.

Capacitor infused carbon fiber crossmember in place on Volvo S80 test vehicle

Then there’s the issue of broken panels or those damaged in an accident. In the event of an accident not only would body panels be extremely costly to replace but they could present unprecedented problems for emergency crews. Electrical surges coming from broken body panels could be potentially harmful were rescue persons unaware of the underlying electrical issues.

On a fossil fuel-powered note, cars using traditional 12 volt batteries, which weigh anywhere from 45 – 61 lb (20-28 kg), this technology could also prove beneficial by relocating that hefty chunk of lead from the nose of the car out across larger surface areas.

According to Volvo, weight savings of 15 percent or more could be achieved by replacing a vehicle’s traditional body and relevant electrical components with these new nano-infused carbon fiber panels. Volvo is also keen to point out the positive sustainability aspect that comes as a result of such weight reduction.

Source: Volvo

20

Jul

Carbon Fiber Fins

Enter The Future Of Lightweight Diving With Carbon Fiber Fins

Carbon fiber fins are not exactly new but until now they’ve mostly been limited to freediving fin styles. But in November 2017 at DEMA Submatix US was showing off one of the first ‘normal’ SCUBA diving fins made from carbon fiber we’ve seen to date.

The idea of using carbon fiber to build dive fins might seem gimmicky at first, but there’s some a great reason that most carbon fiber fins have been developed for freediving. Carbon fiber is legendary for its strength and power return so it was only a matter of time until we saw this futuristic material applied to dive fins for general SCUBA diving.

 

Not only are these fins incredibly light, they are great at transferring power from your leg kick to the water. Each Submatix fin weighs in at nearly half the weight of typical fins tipping the scales at just over 450 grams each, and a reasonable 24 inches or 60 centimeters long.

Of course carbon fiber isn’t cheap so you’re looking at a price of around $399 per pair for the privilege. While the price may be hefty, when you hold them in your hands you realize how much weight you can shave from your dive bag with a pair of these carbon fiber dive fins, and the reduced weight underwater doesn’t hurt either. (Submatix)

20

Jun

BMW Unveils Exclusive HP4 RACE Motorcycle made with Carbon Fiber

At this year’s Milan Motorcycle Show, BMW Motorrad unveiled an “advanced prototype” of its BMW HP4 RACE, which the company is calling its most exclusive motorcycle ever. Like many BMW vehicles, it features a significant amount of carbon fiber. The 2017 HP4 RACE is the latest version of the HP4 that debuted in 2013 with one of the first semi-active suspension systems on the market.

The HP4 Race will join Ducati’s Superleggera as the only bikes on the market with full featherweight carbon fiber frames. For the HP4 RACE, the use of composites will extend beyond just the frame.

“The HP4 RACE will feature the full carbon fiber main frame and carbon fiber rims,” said Stephan Schaller, President of BMW Motorrad. “We will reveal more about this model next spring.”

According to sportrider.com, the carbon fiber main frame, self-supporting tail section, and wheels, as well as the bodywork, were likely made in-house by BMW at one of its three manufacturing plants in Landshut, Leipzig, and Dingolfing, Germany. The site adds that BMW was one of the first auto manufacturers to make a significant investment into its own carbon fiber manufacturing capabilities, instead of outsourcing the manufacturing components like most other automakers.

The motorcycle will be manufactured by hand in an exclusive limited series and supplied in the second half of 2017.

 

Buy carbon fiber, fiberglass and other composites online in Australia at Beyond Materials™

According to  http://compositesmanufacturingmagazine.com

20

Jun

Zoltek Carbon Fiber Featured in New Uniti Electric Car

Swedish startup company Uniti recently released its “smartphone car,” a modern electric vehicle that comes with five years of free electricity. The car can cover 186 miles with its 22 kWh battery and charge up to a range of 124 miles in 30 minutes.

According to Lewis Horne, founder and CEO of Uniti, the car’s body is made entirely of Zoltek’s PX35 carbon fiber in order to facilitate the company’s ability to scale up production. Zoltek, a subsidiary of Toray, has the largest global capacity of industrial-grade carbon fiber which can support automotive mass production. Additionally, by utilizing PX35, Uniti was able to create an electric car that is lightweight without sacrificing safety or comfort.

“Uniti is pioneering a new space in the electric vehicle market,” said David Purcell, Executive Vice President of Composite Intermediates and Oxidized Fiber at Zoltek. “We are pleased to support the efforts of this innovative team, and even more pleased that Uniti recognizes Zoltek’s PX35 as a key enabling material on their initial vehicle.”

According to Zoltek, PX35 carbon fiber has superior mechanical properties that are comparable to steel with just 25 percent of the density of steel at a price point competitive with aluminum. In addition to the automotive market, Zoltek is also currently supplying PX35 carbon fiber into wind energy applications.

Uniti will offer a line of two, four and five-seat vehicle models, with first deliveries targeted for 2019. There are already over 1,000 advance orders for the start-up company’s first vehicle. For more information, visit www.uniti.earth.

 

Buy carbon fiber, fiberglass and other composites online in Australia at Beyond Materials

 

According to  http://compositesmanufacturingmagazine.com

20

Jun

PolyOne Develops Carbon Fiber Underbody Brace for C7 Corvette

PolyOne announced its lightweight, carbon fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP) underbody brace is now offered as a performance upgrade for the current C7 generation of GM’s Chevrolet Corvette Z06. The Corvette Z06 won last year’s Car and Driver Lightning Lap with the fastest speed, which also ranked as the second fastest lap time in the history of the event.

 

 

The company produced the continuous carbon fiber braces using pultrusion technology. PolyOne says the braces reduce weight compared to aluminum. The braces also increasing flexural stiffness for improved structural integrity and long-term fatigue strength.

“Our Glasforms team evaluated several composite types and identified a solution with optimal performance. The carbon fiber-reinforced composite part is 17% lighter than the stock aluminum part, and the composite held up well in GM’s extensive vibration, shake and road test regimen,” said Matthew Borowiec, general manager, PolyOne Advanced Composites – the company’s new platform it created after it acquired Gordon Composites and Polystrand. “We are proud that our team’s expertise in materials and engineering is helping to boost the legendary performance of the Corvette.”

General Motors uses the Corvette as a validation vehicle for many of its new technologies. GM has a 60-year history with composites. In 1953, Molded Fiber Glass launched the first production model of the Corvette with fiberglass body panels. In 1972, the Corvette’s body panels were made with sheet molding compounds (SMC) for the first time. All Corvettes since 1973 have used SMC body panels. As recently as last year, Continental Structural Plastics introduced its TCA Ultra Lite body panel for the Corvette.

Buy carbon fiber, fiberglass and other composites online in Australia at Beyond Materials

According to  http://compositesmanufacturingmagazine.com

19

Jun

SpaceX Successfully Tests Carbon Fiber Tank for Mars Spaceship

SpaceX has completed a critical test for the carbon fiber fuel tank of its Interplanetary Transport System spaceship, which is designed to transport humans to Mars. Last month, during an “Ask Me Anything” session on Reddit, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said he believes the carbon fiber tank is the most essential part of the spaceship.

The tank is 12 meters (~39 feet) wide, the largest such vessel ever produced. According to Space.com, SpaceX tested the tank by taking it out to sea to see how it performs under pressure. SpaceX wrote on Twitter that the tank reached both of its pressure targets and that the next step will be full cryogenic testing.

In the Reddit discussion, Musk revealed the tank would be “built with [the] latest and greatest carbon fiber prepreg” – carbon fiber that’s pre-impregnated with a resin to make it tougher. “In theory, it should hold cryogenic propellant without leaking and without a sealing linker,” he said. Carbon fiber’s high tensile strength, design flexibility and low density are also major benefits.

Musk was also quick to note, though, that working with carbon fiber wouldn’t come without its challenges.

“Even though carbon fiber has [an] incredible strength-to-weight [ratio], when you want one of them put super-cold liquid oxygen and liquid methane — particularly liquid oxygen — in the tank, it’s subject to cracking and leaking and it’s a very difficult thing to make,” Musk explains. He adds that the sheer scale of it is also challenging.

However, despite potential obstacles, he did note that “early tests are promising” and that “initial tests with the cryogenic propellant … actually look quite positive.”

“We have not seen any leaks or major issues,” he added.

Buy carbon fiber and other composites online in Australia at Beyond Materials

 

 compositesmanufacturingmagazine

19

Jun

Pink Gin VI, World’s Largest Carbon Fiber Sloop

Baltic Yachts’ all-carbon composite, 160-ton single-mast yacht the Pink Gin VI is one pace to debut in the water by May 12.

The yacht’s hull was laminated with epoxy carbon prepreg for its inner skin and E-glass and aramid for its outer skin. A layer of Kevlar woven fibers was used in the forefoot of the hull laminate for added impact resistance. The deck was also laminated in epoxy carbon prepreg with a core-cell foam as sandwich material.

The interior of the boat features structural bulkheads made of Nomex/Core-Cell core CRP sandwich construction. It also features a 67.9m carbon fiber mast. By using composites, the boat’s overall displacement is only 235 tons, Baltic Yachts says is low for a yacht of this size.

The Pink Gin VI is the world’s largest all-carbon-fiber sloop, so transporting it to its destination at Jakobstad, Finland was a challenge. Instead of traveling by sea, the sloop had to be driven 13 miles on land. The yacht traveled at an average speed of about 6 mph during the journey during which roundabouts, a railroad crossing and other obstacles had to be negotiated. Baltic Yachts was given permission to widen roads in places and temporarily remove traffic signs so that the unusual load could travel safely to Jakobstad. The carbon fiber mast and the keel will be delivered separately, and will ultimately arrive at its new owner by the middle of summer.

In addition to the Pink Gin VI, Baltic Yachts is also planning on beginning construction of three other carbon fiber yachts this year, each of which has already sold out.

Buy carbon fiber, fiberglass and other composites online in Australia at Beyond Materials

According to http://compositesmanufacturingmagazine.com

19

Jun

World’s First Carbon Fiber Subway Car

CRRC Changchun Railway Vehicles, a leading Chinese train car maker, announced that it has developed a prototype of the world’s first subway train made of carbon fiber. CRRC says its composite prototype is more durable and requires less energy than traditional metal cars. It is also believed to be 35 percent lighter due to its use of carbon fiber.

In recent years, CRRC has sold train and subway cars to 20 countries including the U.S., Brazil and Australia. The subway cars are expected to last at least 30 years as carbon fiber is more capable of resisting fatigue, corrosion, and UV radiation, CRRC says. Carbon fiber is also stronger and quieter compared to metal, the manufacturer notes, and offers in better thermal and sound insulation performance.

CRRC Changchun said it owns full intellectual property rights on the use of carbon fiber for making subway cars. The cars will first be used for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) Orange Line. Back in October, CRRC produced the first China-made subway cars for the Orange Line as part of a 284-carriage order signed by the company with MBTA in December 2014. The deal was the first time a Chinese train car maker won a bid in the US market. The company believes the strides it has made with in-house research will result in mass production of the cars.

 

Buy carbon fiber, fiberglass and other composites online in Australia at Beyond Materials

By Evan Milberg   compositesmanufacturingmagazine.com

X