All the knowledge developed will be applied to the bonnet of a Maserati that will be used as the final model for the project.
Fagor Arrasate is taking part in the European AdvanCRTM project to find the geometric limits of the Compression Resin Transfer Moulding process, in order to apply this technology to manufacture automotive components quickly, precisely and in a controlled manner.
The composite materials are demonstrating their potential applicability in the automotive sector, given their light weight and great mechanical properties, as well as their safety. However, for the mass production of composites in the automotive industry, it is necessary to develop competitive manufacturing processes with a high level of automation that makes it possible to reduce the related manufacturing costs.
In this context, Compression Resin Transfer Moulding (CRTM) seems to be the most viable option for manufacturing structural parts adapted to the requirements of the automotive industry. The CRTM process permits an important reduction in both the manufacturing cycle and the required amount of investment.
Fagor Arrasate is immersed in this challenge, with collaboration of MU (Mondragon Unibertsitatea), participating alongside other partners in a European project to develop more scientific knowledge about the CRTM process, thus optimising the execution parameters. The AdvanCRTM project, which has the support of the European Eurostars program and financed by Spain’s Centre for Industrial Technological Development (CDTI), is being carried out under the auspices of a consortium formed by another four European partners from four different countries: Alpex, an Austrian manufacturer of RTM moulds; Roctool, a French developer of quick curing induction equipment; Institute of Polymer Engineering at FHNW University of Applied sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland, specialised in composite processing and material development; and RIBA Composites, an Italian manufacturer of carbon fibre components for high end sport and luxury vehicles.
The project will culminate with the manufacturing of a bonnet designed by the automotive manufacturer Maserati, combining excellent aesthetic and structural features. The challenge is to manufacture a bonnet that has complex geometric shapes and with the top-level aesthetic quality (Class A) that is required by these type of parts.
The AdvanCRTM project began two years ago and will end in mid-2018. “This is a huge challenge that could revolutionise the sector for high end vehicles”, stresses Andrea Bedeschi, RIBA general manager.