New production methods will make possible the manufacturing of large series of advanced composites

Category: Plastics in the automotive and transport industries

Composite materials provide countless advantages derived from its high performances and its low weight to sectors such as transport. The problem is that its mass production is not a reality yet due to the complex manufacturing methods required.

In order to provide an answer to the challenge of manufacturing of large series, AIMPLAS coordinates the project RECOTRANS. The objective of this European project is to develop and demonstrate a new efficient and sustainable manufacturing method to allow achieving a high productivity in the manufacturing of new multi-materials for the transport sector.

The result will be lighter and high-quality hybrid structures made of thermoplastic polymeric composite and metal with lower manufacturing costs, involving energy and time savings and thus helping to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

In particular, two innovative technologies will be developed: microwaves for pultrusion and RTM processes to allow obtaining long-fibre thermoplastic composites, and laser bonding to allow adding metal inserts in composite parts. From these new technologies three demonstrators will be manufactured: the cabin pillar for a MERCEDES BENZ truck, the roof coverage of a train manufactured by STADLER and the skin of a car door manufactured by GESTAMP.

During the first stage of the project, progresses will be focused on the definition of the materials’ requirements and on the manufacturing system for the three demonstrators, as well as on the selection and adaptation of materials.

The project, which lasts 42 months, has the participation of 13 partners from seven countries and has received funding from the EU Horizon 2020 research and innovation program, under grant agreement number 768737.



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