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Carbon/flax hybrid automotive roof

News International-French

23 Feb 2016

JEC World 2016 - The CARBIO project has developed a carbon/flax hybrid automotive roof with reduced weight, cost and environmental impact, and improved noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) characteristics.

The adoption of carbon fibre-epoxy composites to reduce vehicle weight presents 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. For example, a 50/50 carbon/flax hybrid biocomposite with equal bending stiffness to carbon fibre offers 15% lower cost, 7% lower weight and 58% higher vibration damping.

The prototype roof will be on display at JEC World 2016 (Paris, 8-10 March), in the Auto Planet showcase area.

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.

Booth: M41