Stronger than steel

Hi-tech car­bon fi­bre could start turn­ing up in ev­ery­day cars

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Car News -

tech­nol­ogy and his com­pany’s patented method of rapidly cur­ing resin with­out the use of an au­to­clave were key points of the part­ner­ship with Audi.

The ar­range­ment will be part of a project headed by the Ger­man govern­ment. Quick­step, through the Aus­tralian Govern­ment’s Cli­mate Ready Pro­gram, has in­vested $1.2 mil­lion and ex­pects the project to be com­pleted by May.

The Ger­man ini­tia­tive ‘‘ rep­re­sented an enor­mous op­por­tu­nity for us to progress RST tech­nol­ogy in part­ner­ship with a high qual­ity group of part­ners in­clud­ing Audi,’’ Odouard says. ‘‘ The ul­ti­mate goal is high-vol­ume, low-cost com­pos­ite com­po­nent man­u­fac­tur­ing so the in­dus­try can de­liver lighter ve­hi­cles with re­duced fuel con­sump­tion and CO emis­sions.’’

Odouard says the ur­gency to de­velop light­weight au­to­mo­tive ma­te­ri­als is be­ing driven by leg­isla­tive change around the globe.

This in­cludes new reg­u­la­tions ex­pected in the US by 2017 re­quir­ing all new cars to av­er­age 6.5L/100km.

In March, Quick­step com­pleted the first proof-of- con­cept painted car­bon-fi­bre flat panel to A-class au­to­mo­tive stan­dards us­ing the resin spray tech­nol­ogy.

Odouard says the panels have ‘‘ an ex­cep­tion­ally high qual­ity fin­ish for a rapid lay-up and cur­ing process and ex­hibit ma­te­rial per­for­mance char­ac­ter­is­tics that are within or ex­ceed au­to­mo­tive in­dus­try stan­dards. This has the po­ten­tial to pro­vide a very sub­stan­tial sec­ond growth front for the com­pany along­side our ex­ist­ing ac­tiv­i­ties in the aero­space sec­tor.

‘‘ Our ma­jor fo­cus is on the im­mi­nent com­mence­ment of man­u­fac­tur­ing of com­pos­ite com­po­nents for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Pro­gram.’’

High fi­bre: Your car could come to share the stuff of Audi’s R8 GT coupe

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