Sanderson Building, Classroom 2
"Moving to thermoplastic composites for automotive and being 100% recyclable"
Continuous Fiber Reinforced (CFR) Composites are seen today as a key future contributor to weight reduction targets in the automotive industry. Due to a greater maturity of the technology, epoxy or polyurethane based thermoset CFR composites have already been introduced in high end and small series vehicles. In such applications, the production of structural parts is mostly carried out using High Pressure Resin Transfer Molding (HP-RTM) processes. One of the remaining challenges for this technology to enter the automotive mass market is to reach an overall part production cycle time well below 2 minutes, which translates in ever shorter curing times for the matrix resins during the HP-RTM manufacturing process. Moving to Thermoplastic Composites could offer several advantages on final part properties and recyclability, but also on cycle time reduction; several technology (infusion, light RTM, fast RTM…) options are now available or under development with the aim at reaching these benefits at part costs compatible with the automotive mass market.
The Resin Transfer Molding process, as it is used today for thermoset composites has many advantages, like access to full 3D parts, possibility of near net-shape parts (low scrap rates) or simplified supply chain leading to cost optimisations.
However, this process cannot be used with classical existing thermoplastics because they are highly viscous in the melt state. Typically, RTM requires resin viscosities below 2 Pa.s during the mould filling step, when typical polymer melts have viscosities in the hundreds or even thousands of Pa.s.
The new innovative thermoplastic resin Elium over comes this obstacle by allowing to manufacture continuous-fiber reinforced thermoplastic composite with low cost tooling and low pressure machines, and giving similar properties than epoxies. A way to get the performance of Thermoplastic composites without the complexity of high (<110°C) temperature processes.
I am an Aerospace engineer by training eager to challenge my skills and expertise by innovative R&D projects. My field of expertise is in composite material technology with a focus on implementing novel processes and developing innovative products. Over the past 6 years I have contributed to or managed diverse R&D projects in collaboration with multiple industrial and/or research partners. I enjoy being part of a highly motivated multi-disciplinary team keen to find innovative solutions tailored to a customer’s needs.