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SGL Carbon gives millionth composite leaf spring to Volvo
Pic: SGL Carbon
SGL Carbon has delivered its millionth composite leaf spring to Volvo Cars, reaching a milestone in the history of serial production of fibre composite components. The leaf spring is manufactured at the Innkreis site in Austria. The leading German company’s portfolio ranges from carbon and graphite materials and solutions to carbon fibres and composites.
With this fully automated, scalable serial production of leaf springs based on glass fibre reinforced plastic (GFRP), SGL Carbon offers one of the largest range of composite components in the automotive industry. Compared with standard steel leaf springs, which can weigh up to 15 kg, a similar GFRP spring leaf weighs just 6 kg, making it around 65 per cent lighter. Besides a reduction in weight, the composite leaf spring also requires less space and ensures easy handling, according to SGL Carbon.
Furthermore, the composite design means the leaf spring can be tailored to different models, giving manufacturers a high degree of flexibility while cutting costs at the same time. The leaf spring is part of Volvo Cars’ global SPA vehicle platform and is used in different Volvo models. SGL Carbon is also implementing similar concepts together with other car manufacturers from Europe and North America.
“The new leaf spring allows a significant weight saving in our vehicle models compared to conventional steel springs in this application. This contributes to lower fuel consumption and reduced CO2 emissions. In addition, we can use a small number of leaf spring variants in many different models, which increases efficiency and allows for high flexibility,” Erik Johansson, senior design engineer at Volvo Cars said.
“We are proud that we are driving forward our innovative solutions together with our technically very demanding customer in a targeted manner and are increasingly putting them into large serial production. The composite leaf spring is a good example of this. In addition, this project underlines the long-standing and good cooperation between both companies,” Jürgen Köhler, CEO of SGL Carbon said. (GK)