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Bertrandt and SGL Group present their "Carbon Carrier” technology

News International-French

24 Nov 2017

Bertrandt and SGL, in a collaborative initiative, have developed an integrated concept for innovative interior structures based on composite materials: the “Carbon Carrier”. Ready for large-scale production, the “Carbon Carrier” combines lightweight fiber compounds and integrated functionality, and is the perfect example of use of material mix in the automotive industry.

Bertrandt and SGL Group present "Carbon Carrier”

In lightweight construction, carbon fiber-reinforced plastics (CFRP) play a major role. Bertrandt and SGL Group have combined their complementary expertise to demonstrate the potential of this material group. The objective was to develop a groundbreaking technology ready for large-scale production that offers new configuration and design options for vehicle interiors.

An OEM-neutral body draft created at Bertrandt served as the basis for the development of a functional package model for the front vehicle interior of a convertible or coupè with electric drive. The model includes all major function and trim components of a conventional instrument panel. In addition, the carrier features a newly developed design language, which will help visualize central load paths and CFRP elements for drivers. Structural components were also redesigned, giving the interior a more free, light and floating impression.

“While designing the Carbon Carrier, we made sure that the components, technologies and assembly concepts used, were ready for large-scale production either now or in the near future. For electric vehicles in particular, reduced weight means a greater range,” states Michael Hage, Head of Body Development/CAE at Bertrandt.

The major challenge in developing the Carbon Carrier was to find the optimal configuration of matrix and fiber material, fiber length, portion and orientation, layer structure and process technology that meets a wide range of requirements. The body draft is an exemplary non-exclusive mounted structure, for which, SGL Group not only shared its material and process expertise, but also its experience in large-series component production. An optimal material mix as well as the production technology were developed at the Lightweight and Application Center (LAC), where lightweight solutions are designed for large-scale production.

“The combined expertise of Bertrandt and SGL Group along the entire product development process was incorporated into the Carbon Carrier – from the concept phase, to design and automated large-scale production,” reports Dr. Andreas Erber, Head of the Lightweight and Application Center of the SGL Group.

This Carbon Carrier features a high degree of innovation and reveals realizable structures in modern vehicle concepts. The acquired expertise will be applied in further collaborative initiatives as well as in future Bertrandt and SGL Group customer projects.