The automotive industry is reducing vehicle weight and increasing engine efficiency to comply with tightening CO2 emission and fuel economy regulations. This constant refinement of requirements demands continuous development and testing of technologies in real-life applications.
Each section below highlights actual applications of Hexion's breakthrough products for weight savings and speedier manufacturing.
Composite parts in as little as one minute
Hexion's new EPIKOTE™ 06170 Resin and EPIKURE™ 06170 Curing Agent fast-cure epoxy systems enable Automotive manufacturers to mass produce lightweight carbon fiber-reinforced epoxy structural body parts in cycle times as short as one minute. Incorporation of this type of resin into the chassis, semi-structural parts and exterior body can result in a weight savings of up to 70% compared with steel.
Developed for industrial scale RTM/LCM processing this resin system features low viscosity, very fast cure and easy demolding. See how the system enables for mass production of automotive parts in this video.
Bakelite® phenolic resins--the ultimate in heat and chemical resistance
Smaller, more compact engines mean higher under-the-hood temperatures. New Bakelite® engineering thermoset enhancements enable manufacturers to mass-produce lightweight, high-performance parts for under-the-hood applications such as pulleys, pumps and housings.
Superbly resistant to heat and aggressive chemical media, injection or compression molded Bakelite® resin composite parts exhibit very high dimensional and mechanical strength, and have demonstrated weight savings of up to 40% versus aluminum.
See case studies of Bakelite® engineering thermosets in action under the hood:
Glass reinforced composites for lightweight suspension leaf springs and other dynamic components
A new composite coil spring—an industry first—was developed in cooperation with Sogefi for Audi. The spring is manufactured using a confidential Epikote Epoxy Resin / Epikure Curing Agent composition, which was specifically designed to meet demanding customer performance requirements while allowing mass production. The composite suspension spring is patented by Sogefi, and has been in commercial production for the new Audi A6 Avant 2.0 TDI ultra since late 2014. Compared with traditional technology, this novel composite spring trims 4.4 kilograms from the car affording lower fuel consumption. It is also designed to improve driving precision and comfort.
Super strong epoxy/glass fiber composites are very effective for lightweight drive train and suspension components. One such application is the use of Hexion's EPIKOTE™ TRAC 06478 Resin/EPIKURE™ TRAC 06478 and EPIKURE™ CAT TRAC 06478 Curing Agents melt prepreg system to manufacture leaf springs for heavier (>7.5 mt) vehicles. The new, heavy duty composite leaf spring suspension system is over 100 kg lighter than the standard.
New preform binder system for higher pressure injection in fast cycle-time RTM
Another product to assist with mass production of Automotive composite parts is EPIKOTE™ TRAC 06720 Binder System. This system is a one-component, cross-linkable powder binder that can be applied to carbon or glass fibers and fabrics using a hot-melt coating process. Given the additional preform integrity provided by the binder, process developers should be able to raise flow/mold fill rates of increasingly complex preforms, further reducing the time needed for the RTM injection step.