Nissan found a way to speed up production of carbon fiber partsSeptember 4, 2020
Thanks to a new manufacturing process developed by Nissan, the material used for aircraft, rockets and sports cars may find wider applications for production vehicles.
The new process speeds up the production of auto parts made from carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP), a carbon fiber reinforced plastic. This lightweight yet extraordinarily strong material can help improve the safety and fuel efficiency of vehicles. In addition, if the upper parts of the body are made from it, the center of gravity of the car is lowered; the result is increased agility and driving pleasure.
Nissan intends to use a new process for mass production of CFRP parts to offer a wider range of customers. Compared to conventional methods, this innovation can more than halve component development time and approximately 80% less injection molding cycle time.
The benefits of carbon fiber have long been known, but they are more expensive than other materials such as steel. This, along with the complexity of forming parts, hindered the mass production of CFRP parts.
Nissan has taken a new approach to the existing production method known as RTM *. This method involves pressing the carbon fiber to shape the part and then placing it in a die with a small gap between the top of the die and the carbon fiber. Thereafter, the resin is injected into the matrix and left to solidify.
Nissan engineers have developed ways to accurately simulate resin penetration into carbon fiber by visualizing resin flow behavior using an integrated temperature sensor and a transparent die. Successful modeling results in high quality parts and reduced development times.
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