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Developed by Cetim, Onera (French aerospace laboratory), PSA Peugeot Citroen and Compose, this innovative thermoplastic composite suspension arm allows a 50% weight reduction compared to the reference metallic design solution.
The lighter vehicles is a prerequisite for reducing the consumption or use of alternative energies. To achieve this, composites are needed for both body parts as those of structure or components.
The thick high quality steel sheet is replaced by two thin composite shells forming a hollow shape, weighting half of the mettalic sheet (1050 grams instead of 2400 grams, excluding connections). The same connection design and mechanical specification are respected, dynamic performance may be enhanced. The two composite sheets are thermoformed and welded simultaneously using an innovative tool placed on a standard industrial press. Organosheets made of continuous Carbon fiber and Polyamide are used as raw material, fibers are oriented to optimize the mechanical behavior. In a second step, rubber connections are joined to the composite shell thanks to overmoulding with fiber reinforced compatible polyamide. This process allows an economically efficient high volume production thanks to short cycle time, easy automation and function integration opportunity.
Cetim and its partner successfully prove that, by working together optimized design and innovative process, it is possible to develop composite pieces that match the automotive industry needs.
More information: www.cetim.fr