New Production Process for Carbon Fiber Struts Developed for Daimler Vehicles

2nd December 2016

As part of a development project, researchers at Daimler AG and the Austrian CRP applications specialist Secartechnologie GmbH have succeeded in developing an innovative new CRP pultrusion process. This allows lightweight carbon fibers and metal to be pultruded in profile form.

“The composite components, which boast optimized functionality and costs, can now also be economically produced in larger volumes”, says Karl-Heinz Füller, Head of Hybrid Materials at Daimler AG. Reinforcing struts produced using this process, which are used in various AMG vehicles such as the C-Class Cabriolet and S-Class, have received the Innovation Award of the Verstärkte Kunststoffe e.V. (AVK) industry association at the Composite Europe trade fair.

Jörg Miska, Head of Body Development at Mercedes-AMG: “Struts are used frequently in the substructure or front section of vehicles, so as to rigidify the bodyshell and optimize the driving characteristics in terms of comfort and sporty handling. CRP’s direction-related elasticity, its anisotropic behavior, precisely meets these requirements.”

In the pultrusion process employed, various reinforcing fibers and metal bands are introduced into an extrusion tool, where resin is added to form a string. The process is efficient in various respects: Firstly, optimized use is made of the carbon material thanks to minimal waste, and secondly the energy requirement is low owing to the very low process forces. There is no need for cost-intensive high-performance presses.

Thanks to the dedicated mix of various glass and carbon fibers, a high-performance resin and a high-strength metal band at the core, it is also possible to optimize other component functions such as damping and corrosion characteristics, temperature resistance and crash performance. In combination with the impressive economic efficiency of the manufacturing process, this provides the ideal conditions for larger production volumes.