Challenge / Goal
The future of mobility for cities depends on providing more efficient vehicles, which, regardless of the propulsion technology, means reducing their weight. Traditionally in the automotive sector "long" series of carbon fiber parts are produced at a rate of few thousand per year (4000 or 5000 at most); besides that, it is necessary to have highly skilled manufacturing personnel to keep the quality standards required.
ATE proposal is a new way of manufacturing lighter parts economically, less dependant on high skilled workers, keeping the highest quality standards, with low-energy consumption during the manufacturing process and scalable at long series. Therefore, as vehicle manufacturers incorporate it, there will be an improvement in consumption and therefore a positive impact on the CO2 footprint wherever these vehicles circulate.
The first large-scale project in which we have been able to apply this technology is for non-structural parts, the function of which is purely aesthetic, the Member Box de Cupra.
For thus, ATE has developed its own production technology, suitable for structural or aesthetic components ("carbon look") and has developed a production process (including a new way of conceiving the moulds) that maximizes the advantage of using the new range of composite materials of latest generation (carbon textiles impregnated with fast cure epoxy resins). By using hot-plate presses instead of autoclaves, ovens or self-heated moulds, we are able to achieve the goals stated below:
- Reduce energy consumption in production (>90%)
- Eliminating ancillary plastics in the process
- Lowering part cost, but also tooling costs thanks to a higher tool rotation rate in production
- While keeping highest quality standards including aesthetic appearance if wished
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