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Coats joins General Motors LLC led Department of Energy Project

Coats is joining a team, led by automaker General Motors LLC, to develop a tailored fibre reinforced composites solution for volume manufacturing of structural battery enclosures in electric vehicles under a US Department of Energy cooperative agreement (DE-EE0009204).

Coats joins General Motors LLC led Department of Energy Project
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Coats is providing expert knowledge and innovation in tailored fibre reinforced composites technology to help develop a lightweight, high performance and cost-effective structural battery enclosures.

Ronan Cox, President, Performance Materials Coats, said: ‘This is an exciting opportunity to innovate with a group of companies led by a global automotive leader to develop a composites solution at scale. Lighter, stronger and cost-effective composites solutions form part of the journey towards a zero-emissions future in automotive. It is excellent recognition of our expertise and also means Coats is contributing towards a more sustainable future for the industry.’

This latest collaboration builds on previous work with GM in developing a lightweight, intrusion resistant composite floor reinforcement structures. Coats will be proposing LatticeTM and Lattice ConductiveTM technologies to design and manufacture ultra-light composite material products. Lattice is an optimised continuous fibre laying technique which creates preforms with no waste and was demonstrated on a complex floor reinforcement component. Lattice Conductive allows for integration of conductive paths and electronic circuitry in moulded composite components. Coats then uses its proprietary Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) tools to create a 2D Lattice continuous fibre preform that can be fabricated into a 3D preform mould.

Lattice technology reduces cost by generating zero waste preforms by placing fibres only where needed. It is also cost effective because there is a 50% reduction in the steps required to fabricate the 3D preform for moulding.

Dr Venkat Aitharaju, Staff Researcher, GM Research and Development said: ‘Coats Lattice Preform technology is a system that shows promise and may help make a positive business case for lightweight solutions.’

The development will be resourced from the Coats Innovation Hub at its Sevier site in North Carolina, US. The project is due to run until December 2023.

More information www.coats.com