Materials company, Hexcel, has announced that its carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP) technologies have been introduced in the BMW 7 Series where it is used to save weight and reinforce the metal shell of the B-pillar. Hexcel supplies BMW with preforms made of unidirectional carbon prepreg set in various orientations and combined with adhesive.
To meet the requirements for series production in the automotive industry, Hexcel has installed a fully automated production line in Austria that converts unidirectional prepreg into bidirectional preforms in a few seconds. The process allows pre-preg plies of different weights and orientation to be combined in the same ply-book and includes automated cutting, camera-assisted ply positioning, integration of adhesive and automated packing.
This fully-automated production cell makes B-pillar preforms for up to 500 cars each day allowing Hexcel to meet the high production rates required by automotive manufacturers and the high quality expectations of premium car manufacturers.
Hexcel’s CFRP solutions are used in standalone and hybrid applications to help not only lighten cars which contributes to overall CO2 reductions, but also help to improve performance and safety through increased strength and durability.