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Non-crimp fabric carbon reinforcement used for automotive roof panel

Chomarat Textiles Industries : 25 October, 2013  (New Product)
Chomarat specialises in textile reinforcements for composites, is an active participant in the "RTM in-mould Coatings" project thanks to its line of spread NCF carbon reinforcements. For the first time, a carbon roof panel for the Roding Roadster is made in real time, and mass produced, at the K’2013 show. This innovative project is the birthchild of a partnership between major players in the composites field, under the leadership of KraussMaffei. The use of C-Ply Spread as a reinforcement contributes to the success of this project.
The Roding Roadster is a two-seat mid-engine sports car developed by a small German car manufacturer called Roding Automobile. It features a lightweight carbon fibre chassis and a powerful turbocharged engine with an impressive output of 300 HP and 295 pound-feet of torque. The engine is mated to a six-speed manual transmission which sends the power to the rear wheels.
This latest technological advancement in a resin transfer moulding (RTM) process using a polyurethane (PU) system with short cycle times makes it possible to produce composite parts with an excellent surface quality directly out of the mould. The challenge of this process is to obtain, with the same tooling, a surface appearance that is compatible with both a visible carbon design and a surface quality allowing class A paints without any preliminary preparation or subsequent retouching.
C-Ply is a carbon multiaxial product or non crimp fabric (NCF) made up of unidirectional layers that are mechanically sewn together. It can have plies with a tow spreading process resulting in thickness as low as 75gsm per ply. The line provides perfectly flat and homogeneous thin layers which limit the occurrence of microcracks. Its special construction gives it the necessary flexibility to make it readily deformable, and allows good positioning in the mold while still maintaining good permeability for RTM injection. In addition to its visual qualities, the use of C-Ply Spread reduces the cost and weight of composite parts while optimising performance.
In addition to transportation, applications are found in wind energy, marine, military, aircraft, and sports & leisure.
In many applications of fibre-reinforced polymer matrix composites, a separate surface finish is required for cosmetic and/or durability reasons. Traditionally the coating is painted or sprayed onto the open mould before the structural laminate is moulded. In-mould coating systems rely on controlled mould opening to create a gel-coat cavity after partial resin cure, or more recently apply the coating in a closed mould using a patented separation layer.
Partners in the project:
KraussMaffei, Dieffenbacher GmbH, Alpex, Henkel AG & Co.KGa, Rühl Puromehr GmbH, Chomarat, Zoltek, Roding Automobile GmbH, Mühlmeier GmbH & Co. KG, Handte Umwelttechnik GmbH, Hahn Enersave GmbH
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