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CARBIO project develops carbon/flax hybrid automotive roof

News International-French

26 Oct 2015

The project has developed a carbon/flax hybrid automotive roof using Composite Evolution’s Biotex Flax material.

The project, which involves Jaguar Land Rover, is developing novel carbon/flax hybrid composites to produce automotive structures with reduced weight, cost, environmental impact and improved noise, vibration and harshness (NVH).

The adoption of carbon fibre-epoxy composites to reduce vehicle weight is presenting significant challenges to the volume automotive industry. Compared to carbon, flax fibres are renewable, lower in cost, CO2 neutral and have excellent vibration damping properties. In addition, bio-epoxy resins based on cashew nut shell liquid (CNSL) can offer enhanced toughness, damping and sustainability over synthetic epoxies.

By creating a hybrid structure using flax-bioepoxy to replace some of the carbon, enhanced properties such as lower weight, cost, NVH and environmental impact can be gained.

A 50/50 carbon/flax hybrid biocomposite, made from Biotex Flax supplied by Composites Evolution and prepregged by SHD Composite Materials, has significantly contributed to achieving the objectives of the project. With equal bending stiffness to carbon fibre, the hybrid biocomposite has:

  • 15% lower cost
  • 7% lower weight
  • 58% higher vibration damping

The CARBIO project is part-funded by Innovate UK. The partners are Composites Evolution, SHD Composite Materials, KS Composites, Delta Motorsport, Jaguar Land Rover and Cranfield University.