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BioConcept Car wins COMPOSITES Pioneer Award 2009

Oktober 26th, 2009 | By Angela in Automotive Industry, Awards, Biocomposites, Exhibitors, Innovation | 2 Comments »

1Biofuel-Pionier_Smudo_zeigt_was_morgen_bewegtFlax, hemp and cotton  – for three decades the racing team around Fanta Vier frontman Smudo has been demonstrating that biofibres can help to win great prizes even in motor sports. The BioConcept Car project by Four Motors GmbH from Reutlingen successfully in endurance challenges with racing cars made with natural fibre-reinforced plastics.

For its pioneering role in the field of natural fibre-reinforced plastics, the BioConcept Car project is now granted the COMPOSITES Pioneer Award 2009. The prize will be awarded during the COMPOSITES EUROPE trade fair in Stuttgart on 27 October.

Capabilities of renewable raw materials

The project is the only one of its kind worldwide: the body shell of the racing car used is made almost completely from bio-composite materials. doors, mudguards, bonnet, bumpers, wings and the boot lid are made from natural fibre-reinforced plastics. In 2006, racing team operator Four Motors GmbH used a racing car with a body shell made from plant fibres for the first time. The design of the first-generation BioConcept car was based on a Mustang GT RTD.

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Carbon powerhouses

August 20th, 2009 | By Angela in Composite production, Exhibitors, Innovation | No Comments »

Innovative Saertex materials are used for the BMW M6 during CRP roof construction (Photo: Saertex)Very light, very sturdy and very expensive. The characteristics of carbon fibres can be briefly described in this way. Consequently, their applications were primarily restricted in the past to aircraft and aerospace as well as to sports equipment. In addition, the so-called monocoque and other components of Formula 1 racing cars are produced using a carbon fibre reinforced plastic. Very large CRP components are employed in the wings and hull of aircraft.

After carbonization of the basic organic raw materials into carbon, the fibres are tensioned and thus achieve higher strengths and rigidities. Further processing takes place as rovings. This involves several thousand fibres which are combined into a strand and are then used as reinforcing fibres in woven fabrics. As low filaments (short fibres) they can be added to polymers. Suitably reinforced plastic components can be produced by means of processing equipment such as extruders or injection moulding machines.

To produce carbon fibre reinforced plastics (CRP), several layers of carbon fibres are embedded in a plastic matrix of epoxy resin, thermoplastics or ceramics. Analogue to glass-fibre reinforced plastics (GRP), press or autoclave processes for prepregs or fibre wrappings are used for production. CRP manual laminates are only employed for small scale runs or for individual production.

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