Carbon emissions reduction is one of the key drivers for new developments in the automotive industry. Manufacturers and their development partners are working on multiple solutions to realize
improvements – reducing aerodynamic drag, enabling electrification or using alternative fuels. In addition, most automakers say that models coming to the market after 2021 will need to be significantly lighter, up to a few hundred kilograms per car.
The inclination on the part of most in the industry is to consider use of high strength steels and aluminium instead of composite materials because the latter are much too expensive. Put differently, the penalty paid for weight savings (expressed in Euros per kilogram of weight saved) is too high. The cost would typically be about 15 to 20 €/kg for a carbon composite part, which is significantly higher than the maximum increase a manufacturer would be willing to pay (e.g., a solution in aluminium).
Recognizing this challenge, SABIC has developed new affordable material forms for use in an overmoulding process, which significantly reduces the amount of composite material. Under this approach, selective use of high performance multi-axial UD tape-based laminates takes place along the main load axis. At the same time, functional details can be integrated, eliminating separate production steps.