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Dow Technology recognised with 2018 JEC Innovation Award

The Dow Chemical Company in collaboration with AUDI, Voith Composites and ZOLTEK, has won the JEC Innovation Award in the Automotive Process Category for the development of a CFRP rear wall structure suitable for fully-automated serial production.  

The new carbon fibre reinforced plastic rear wall structure, developed for the Audi A8, can be mass produced in numbers exceeding 300 parts per day.

The CFRP rear wall structure of the new Audi A8 weighs 50 percent less than the previous generation and increases torsional rigidity by up to 24 percent, improving safety and crash behaviour, reduces noise and vibration, optimises driving and handling characteristics and extends vehicle life through higher durability says Dow.

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For the production of the part, Dow’s VORAFORCE epoxy resin is injected into a carbon fibre preform through a resin transfer moulding process.

Ultra-low viscosity enables manufacturing of the large, complex part with the ability to integrate added functions.

Dow says cure times are less than 120 seconds and excellent mould release capability, provided through an internal mould release additive, ensures mass production capacity.

BETAFORCE composite bonding adhesives are used for sub-assembly of the structure and part mounting into the body structure which helps retain the integrity of the part by improving torsional stiffness and crash performance.

“For the first time, the full potential of CFRP can be used in high-volume production thanks to innovative and cost-efficient production technologies,” said Martin Reimers, Composites Market Manager at Dow.

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