Project status: Completed.
Over the past 50 years, the automotive industry has seen a continuous increase in the use of more and more sophisticated materials in answer to increasing levels of functionalities and safety in the vehicles, and it is now mandatory due to the need to reduce CO2 emissions to less than 95 grams emitted per km to make a step change in the weight reduction of vehicles. The current solutions that are under development to reach this goal rely on the use of new materials such as high strength steel, aluminium, magnesium, or organic based glass or carbon composite materials. In that context, the aim of the RACE-TP project is to contribute to the industrialization of a new thermoplastic composites technology based on acrylic chemistry recently developed by Arkema.
The solution (technology)
The proposed solution is based on a new thermoplastic composites technology based on acrylic chemistry, a technological approach that has been chosen initially to answer the technico-economic requirements defined with the French auto manufacturers and tier-one auto suppliers Renault, PSA, Faurecia and Plastic Omnium in the Compofast and FastRTM projects. The technology combines several advantages of interest for this type of applications:
- A low resin price as compared to other chemical solutions insuring that the cost of ownership of parts will be competitive with metal solutions;
- A short supply chain due to the use of the RTM process, with a direct supply of resin to the final part manufacturer (Tier-one or Car manufacturer) that also guarantees the best possible economics;
- Access to the direct manufacture of complex 3D parts;
- Possibilities to assemble parts by welding or gluing;
- The recyclability of the parts, with the possible re-use of the material in injection moulded thermoplastic parts for the automotive industry.
- Arkema, France (Lead Partner)
- Mondragon Corporation, Spain
- IRT M2P, France
- Ghent University, Belgium