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Further integration opportunities with new-generation composites for Hutchinson

News International-French

24 Mar 2015

The group developes 3rd generation composites that meet aerospace performance criteria and satisfy the need for high-output production in the aerospace and automotive industries.

Hutchinson is one of the few thermoplastics/composites players that not only does its own part design and manufacturing, but also formulates its own materials.

These high-performance composites are ultra-light, strong, more environment friendly, cost effective, and they are also highly innovative: “At Hutchinson, innovation is part and parcel of the approach. Approaching the design of a composite part by integrating a large number of functions makes the use of composites all the more attractive from the cost viewpoint,” says Bertrand Florentz, Director of Hutchinson’s Composites Technical Centre.

Composite partner for the front suspension for the hybrid Peugeot 208 FE
Hutchinson worked with Peugeot Sports and Total to develop the front and rear axles, which are made of composite and integrate four functions: the suspension (eliminating the need for springs), the wheel guide (eliminating the need for wishbones), roll control and damping of road vibrations and rolling noise. “Our new solution meets the builder’s strict requirements and enables us to drastically reduce the weight of the suspension function, by 13.6 kg. This is consistent with the weight reduction strategy adopted by auto builders to comply with European regulations, which stipulate <.90g co2="" by="" with="" even="" stricter="" requirements="" to="" come.="" in="" terms="" of="" architectural="" gain="" the="" part="" is="" more="" compact="compact" and="" our="" technology="" enables="" a="" one-step="" assembly="" process="" instead="" usual="" steps="" adds="" hutchinson="" project="" manager.="">
A high-tech technical centre, the CTeC as part of the Hutchinson Research Centre
The CTeC (Centre Technique Composite) opened in 2014 and also works on other integrated parts to reduce the cycle times for the parts and their weight. This is the case for the innovative cockpit developed in collaboration with Airbus, for example. In 2014, the cockpit won a JEC Innovation Award in the Design category. “At this year’s JEC Europe, we have presented a new, even lighter instrument panel at our stand!” says Bertrand Florentz.

Hutchinson’s innovative composites and glass fibre reinforced plastics (GFRP) are also featured in new aerospace programmes in various comfort and safety applications, such as the new air-conditioning ducts, insulating wire-bundle brackets, or the new lightning protection for fuel-tank rivet heads.

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