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SGL Carbon to showcase serial production at JEC World
Pic: SGL Carbon
SGL Carbon will showcase latest developments on serial production for the automotive, aerospace and industrial sectors during JEC World, the largest trade fair for composites, to be held from March 3 to 5, 2020 in Paris. Presenting itself as “The Solution Provider,” the company will present selective innovative component solutions from all three areas.
The key is customised solutions with individual component designs combined with tailored materials and production processes ready for large scale production. “Thanks to our integrated value chain, from fibres to finished components, our lightweight and application centre, and our increasing portfolio of realised series-ready concepts, we offer our customers smart, tailor-made solutions all from a single source. In the future, we will increasingly apply our comprehensive expertise and highly efficient materials from the automotive industry into the aerospace and industrial sectors too,” explains Dr. Andreas Wöginger, head of Technology of the Composites – Fibres and Materials business unit at SGL Carbon.
In the field of automotive applications, SGL Carbon will present composite battery enclosures as a promising new application driven by increasing demand for electric vehicles and the resulting new flexible chassis platforms. The company demonstrates a prototype of a battery enclosure based on carbon fibres. However, hybrid composites with a mixture of glass and carbon fibres are also possible. In early January, SGL Carbon received a major order from a North American automotive manufacturer for the serial production of top and bottom layers for battery enclosures, with production to begin at the end of 2020.
In addition, SGL Carbon showcases for the first time a new leaf spring generation made of glass fibre composite that is used as a longitudinal leaf spring for the rear axle of the Ford Transit. In comparison to conventional leaf springs, the innovative composite leaf spring weighs up to 50 per cent less while offering increased security standards and supporting a one-to-one compatibility with standard springs. The Ford leaf spring complements SGL Carbon’s large-scale production of transversal leaf springs for a great variety of Volvo models and the Mercedes Sprinter. In total, SGL Carbon has delivered more than 1.5 million leaf springs.
In the aerospace sector, SGL Carbon is also expanding its portfolio of realised projects and expertise relying on the trend to use more efficient materials and processes in this industry.
In the area of primary structure components, the company will present a demo exhibit for the door frame of a passenger airplane realised in collaboration with external partners and based on 50k carbon fibre from the SGL Carbon, which is suitable for serial production. To further speed up its growth in the sector, the company entered into a development cooperation with Solvay at the end of last year to bring fibre materials for primary structural components based on large-tow carbon fibres to the market for the first time. SGL Carbon already offers a wide range of semi-finished products for non-structural aerospace applications such as interior elements.
Additional submarkets in aerospace emerge for composite applications in small aircrafts, helicopters and air taxis. SGL Carbon offers the full range of services, from engineering to finished components. On display will be a carbon fibre-based concept for an innovative rotor arm for urban air mobility applications (air taxis) made with an innovative manufacturing technology. At the beginning of the year, the company started serial production of landing gears made of braided carbon fibre material, which will be used around the world in air taxis of an international manufacturer over the course of the next two years.
SGL Carbon will showcase a crossbeam made of carbon fibre reinforced plastics (CFRP) used in automated Schuler press lines. Besides weight savings of up to 40 per cent compared with conventional materials, the crossbeam made of composites features a high rigidity and strength, as well as a low thermal expansion and especially good damping performance, which in turn minimises machine vibrations. The use of CFRP not only boosts the production efficiency of the system, it also increases lifetime, due to lower wear and tear expectancy.
Visitors can also experience live how their ideas can be implemented both sustainably and cost-effectively in composites thanks to simulations. Experts from the company’s Lightweight and Application Centre will demonstrate the path from the concept to virtual prototypes using simulation software, with the result visible either to the entire audience or just individual visitors.