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A series production composite crashbox

News International-French

25 Feb 2014

Cetim and Momentive are developing a composite shock absorber (crashbox) for series production vehicles. It is as efficient as its steel equivalent but it is three times lighter and this gain in weight goes along with reduced fuel consumption.

Reducing the weight of vehicles whilst maintaining a high safety level, and manufacturing vehicles which do not consume more than 2l/100 km: all these challenges are giving rise to a great deal of innovation. After the wishbone arm developed by Cetim, Onera, PSA Peugeot Citroën and Compose, the latest innovation is a low-cost Crashbox which stems from a co-operation between Cetim and Momentive, a German company specialising in chemistry.

This new component, secured behind the front-end module of the vehicle, is a cone (length: 200 mm, diameter 100 mm). The cone, which is made of reactive epoxy resin and carbon fibre, can be manufactured by batches of nine in accordance with a fast process, which takes less than 5 minutes.

Cetim has filed two patents: the first one covers the textile fibre with a three-dimensional reinforcement, while the second one covers a fast assembling system on automobile assembly lines.

Result: This crashbox which will be manufactured in series only weighs 420 grams whereas its metal equivalent reaches 1.25 kg: a gain in weight of 830 grams per spar.

This innovation will be presented at JEC Europe, the world’s largest composites event scheduled to take place from 11 to 13 March 2014 at the “Parc des Expositions” (Exhibition Centre) in Paris, Porte de Versailles (France). It will be one of the key items presented in the section dedicated to the the Pays de Loire region - stand K51, along with the filament winding machine for pressure equipment (PE) and testing operations in the aerospace industry.

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