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DSM's Akulon® PA66 GF60 and PA66 CF60 in JEC Innovation Award winning lightweight FRP center tunnel for Porsche 718 Boxster/Cayman

15 June 2020
  • Raj MathurGlobal R&T Manager for Advanced Thermoplastic Composites

The JEC Innovation Awards celebrate the fruitful cooperation between players of the composite community and reward composites champions, based on criteria such as partner involvement in the value chain, technicality or commercial applications of innovations.

The innovative cost-efficient structural hybrid thermoplastic automotive body component suitable for high volume production, introducible prior to cathodic dip coating with respective joining technology was this year’s winner in the category Automotive.

 

A high-performance automotive center tunnel for a Porsche 718 Boxster/Cayman is manufactured in a multi-material design by the combination of glass and carbon fiber tapes, metal inserts and thermoplastic polymers using a cost efficient injection molding process. The hybrid center tunnel features significant weight savings, low machine and tool invest and highly flexible production for novel automotive body applications. The key feature is the component introduction during the standard built up of the body in white, thus enabling an unchanged automotive paint and assembly process. The concept of a structural thermoplastic hybrid structure in a body in white, shown in this project, is regarded as an enabler for improved lightweight structures inside the automotive body.

The distinct properties and characteristics of the Akulon® PA66 GF60 and PA66 CF60 provided Porsche the possibility to manufacture lightweight and complex structural-body structure which can successfully replace or augment metal components.

Also, the combination of the unidirectional tape Akulon® PA66 GF60 and PA66 CF60, the metal inserts and the injection molding enables this significant weight reduction without jeopardizing on structural integrity.

The Akulon® tapes were provided with different fiber types (GF and CF), different widths and length, tailored to the specific application design. This enabled a very efficient design of the central tunnel – combining the best of glass and carbon fibers, as well as the possibility to easily manufacture laminates with zones having different thicknesses and fiber orientation.

It goes without saying that the use of these Akulon® tapes not only enables efficient design, but also contributes to a significant reduction of waste of raw materials.

The thermoplastic nature of the polymers in the Akulon® PA66 GF60 and PA66 CF60 and from the injection molding material allowed a single shot manufacturing process which is cost-efficient and therefore better suited for automotive industry.

Read more about our portfolio of polyamide-based UD tapes, and to request test samples, contact us

 

 

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